The presidency has maintained that the Minister of Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Ngige, and his education counterpart Mallam Adamu Adamu will continue to negotiate with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The latest statement is contradicts the earlier statement made by Mr. Ngige at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, where he’s quoted as saying, “At council today, the Vice President has taken over some of the aspects of the negotiations and discussions” with ASUU.
“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.
But Osinbajo’s spokesman Mr. Laolu Akande said the Vice President would not take over the negotiation.
‘‘Media reports seemed to have misrepresented what Labour & Employment Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige meant when he spoke with reporters about the negotiations after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.”
Akande, who confirmed the VP’s meeting with both the Labour Minister and Education Minister around the ASUU issues however said, “But has not taken over the negotiations as widely reported.”
“The Federal Government continues to diligently pursue a prompt resolution of this dispute and is confident the matter would be resolved,” he added.
Nigeria’s university lecturers are on an indefinite nationwide strike over issues ranging from welfare of members and the unwillingness of the federal government to honour past agreements with the union.
Past meetings between the government and the lecturers have not led to lasting solution to the recurrent faceoff between the Federal Government and ASUU which has greatly affected academic calendar, and one of the reasons Nigerian universities are poorly ranked globally.