By Ese Awhotu
The Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have resumed negotiation on the controversial 2009 agreement.
The Chairman of the Federal Government Re-negotiation team, Wale Babalakin disclosed this to journalists yesterday in Abuja.
He told newsmen after a meeting that lasted for about six hours that he was optimistic the negotiations would yield positive results.
He said the ASUU team presented more than 20 issues that were being looked into.
“We are hopeful that we are on a positive path to finalising the negotiation. There were very hectic discussions on topical issues, and both sides had extensive contributions for the benefit of the university system,” he said.
“It is the same negotiation, we had an interim discussion, that is over now, and we are back to where we left off. So it is a continuous negotiation. ASUU submitted its timetable today, and there are more than 20 issues in that timetable. It is not a single issue, but they will all be discussed,’’ he added.
But ASUU said it is not comfortable with Babalakin being the chairman while alleging that Babalakin did not relate with the union as a negotiator but as a judge.
“He was always trying to overrule,” Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU national president alleged.
Recall that ASUU had embarked on nationwide strike reason being failure on the side of the government to honour the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed between the union and the federal government in 2017.
The union leadership had also accused government of intentionally ignoring the negotiation with impunity as reason for their strike action.
ASUU has consequently called off the strike believing that government will honour the agreement reached by both parties.