By Ese Awhotu
The Federal Government yesterday refuted some media reports that the meeting between it and the striking university lecturers on Monday was deadlocked.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, made the Federal Government’s position known in a statement issued Tuesday and signed by the Director of Press at the labour ministry, Samuel Olowookere.
He said that negotiation with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, was ongoing and progress was being recorded and the federal government was determined to reach an agreement with the union soon.
“The ministry wishes to state that the negotiations between the FG and ASUU on the resolution on the strike is still on-going and making progress as the FG is determined to resolve the outstanding lingering issue to ensure that the strike is called off and students back to school as quickly as possible,” the statement said.
According to the minister, the meeting which he held with the ASUU leaders on Monday was not deadlocked as reported in a section of the media.
He said that, the meeting ended after two hours of commencement because parties involved in the negotiation agreed on the implementation and work plan of the reports submitted at the meeting by ministries, departments, and agencies.
The statement reads in part, “The attention of the minister has been drawn to the negative newspaper publication by some sections of the media on the on-going negotiations between the Federal Government and ASUU.
“The report said ASUU walked out of the reconciliatory meeting between them and the FG.
“The Ministry of Labour and Employment wishes to state that members of ASUU did not walk out of the meeting as reported. After the meeting with ASUU on December 10, 2018, the different MDAs were given assignments and their reports were submitted during the meeting of Monday, December 17, 2018.
“The two parties agreed on implementation and work plan of the reports and gave themselves some days to see if it can be accomplished before Christmas, hence the meeting did not last more than two hours unlike the usual protracted meeting.”