From Adannna Nnamani, Abuja
The marathon meeting between the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government on Tuesday reached deadlock as both parties failed to reach an agreement that will end the six months old strike by public university lecturers.
Members of ASUU had again, met with the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee at the National University Commission in Abuja, with the aim of resolving the issues that led to the ongoing strike.
A senior member of the union who pleaded anonymity told journalists that the meeting which lasted for several hours ended without any agreement reached.
According to him, members of the Prof Briggs Renegotiation Committee, did not come with any new offer on the table, other than to plead with the lecturers to suspend the ongoing strike, with promises that their concerns will be included in the 2023 budget.
ASUU has been on strike since february 14 this year, over issues surrounding the lack of funding for public universities, disagreement over salaries payment platforms, and unpaid earned allowances, as contained in the agreement with the federal government in 2009.
Efforts to renegotiate this agreement, and end incessant strike in public universities, started in 2017 when the federal government inaugurated a committee headed by professor babalakin, which was later replaced by professor manzali in 2020, but the exercise was halted by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Prof Nimi Briggs took over the renegotiation in may 2021, and has since then not been able to reach any tangible agreement with the universities’ unions, a development that has grounded government-owned universities since February.