In a bid to resolve the lingering strike embarked upon by members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday appointed Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to head the Federal Government’s negotiation team with the striking lecturers.
TheNewsGuru.com reports that ASUU has been on strike since August 13 over the failure of the government to implement an agreement it reached with the union in 2009.
The union also alleged that the Federal Government did not implement the Memorandum of Understanding the two sides signed in 2013.
The union, in a statement on Tuesday, said it would call off its strike after receiving a positive response to its demands from the Federal Government.
The teachers boycotted a meeting scheduled to hold between the government and the union on Tuesday.
Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige briefed State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Ngige, who was with the Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and Sports and Youth Development, Solomon Dalung, also blamed the private sector for the delay in announcing the chairman of the Minimum Wage Review Committee.
According to him, the Federal Government is ready and will announce the chairman of the committee when all the names of representatives of the private sector is received.
He said: “The government thanked the parents and even the students who are supposed to take their exams and promotional exams now but have been forced by circumstances beyond their control to stay at home. I have one of my children at home as we speak.
“Government is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that we reach a conclusive agreement with ASUU so that they can go back to the classroom. This is the first national strike that this government is facing and we want to discuss.
“The Vice President has taken over some of the aspects of the negotiations and discussions, so we are continuing the meeting in his office and when we finish meeting, we will get back to ASUU for another round of meeting and we are hopeful that we will be able to go to an appreciable extent to solve some of the outstanding issues that is preventing them from going back to work,” he said.
The Federal Government, he said, is ready and will announce the chairman of the Minimum Wage Review Committee when all the names of representatives of the private sector are received.
He said: “The National Minimum Wage Committee, the government side is ready. We have on the government side four ministers – ministers of Labour and Employment, Finance, Budget and Planning. I can’t remember the last one now but we have our team ready. We also have the Head of Service of the Federation, Acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation on the government team. The chairman will be unveiled when we have full component of the committee.
“The aspect that is delaying us from inaugurating the committee is the organised private sector. The organised private sector has eight representatives of which the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has four nominations, we have not gotten their nominations. Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has two nominations; their nominations just came in yesterday. Nigeria Association of Small Medium Enterprise (NASME) has one; they have not sent in their nomination. NACCIMA has not sent in its nominations.
“So we are waiting fir these nominations. When they come in, the government will nominate the chairman and inaugurate the committee.” he added