Senate Meets Asuu, Meeting Ends In Deadlock

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BEVERLY HILLS, November 16, (THEWILL) – Efforts by the Senate to stop the one-week warning strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which started on Wednesday , has failed.

This comes as a three-hour closed-door meeting, held between the Upper Chamber, ASUU leadership, and officials of the Ministries of Education and Labour, Employment and Productivity was deadlocked.

The meeting, presided over by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had the Minister of State for Education Anthony Anwuka and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Productivity in the National Assembly, and the varsity dons in attendance.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFund, Senator Jibrin Barau, who addressed journalists, said the Senate could not stop the warning strike but declared that the intervention of the Senate would prevent the strike from transforming to an indefinite action.

Barau added that the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, had been asked to attend a meeting of a committee comprising officials of ASUU and the ministries of education and labour on Thursday revealing that a sub-committee, made up of representatives of all the stakeholders had been set up while the panel would continue with the roundtable discussions on Thursday .

“We have had a fruitful deliberation and a way forward has been found by creating a sub-committee of this committee to sit and find out certain things in the Ministry of Finance, which will bring us closer to the resolution of this problem,” he said.

“We will start sitting tomorrow ( Thursday ), including the Minister of Finance (Kemi Adeosun), who has not been able to attend this meeting but we are sure she will be here tomorrow and the Director-General of the Budget Office.

“We have created a template on how to resolve this problem. And you know ASUU is a democratic body, they have to consult. So, it's ongoing; it's a work in progress and a very important headway has been created. A good template has been created and we see light at the end of the tunnel.”

ASUU had on Monday announced a one-week warning strike over the failure of the federal government to implement the agreement it reached with it in 2009.

But in a swift reaction, the Senate mandated Saraki to intervene in the matter with a view to stopping ASUU from proceeding on the strike. 

Story by Oputah David