The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, while speaking to journalists after meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Friday, expressed confidence that the lingering ASUU strike would soon end.
According to Ngige, the Federal Government had offered ASUU what it could afford.
“The meeting was protracted but the good news is that we have got to the end of the tunnel,” Ngige said.
He further noted that the Federal Government was now waiting for ASUU to respond after the leaders who attended the meeting met with their members.
“We have finished the grey areas. On the issue of N50bn (demanded by ASUU for revitalisation), we have offered what we have. We do not have N50bn but we have offered something reasonable,” the Minister revealed.
“Hopes (of universities reopening) are very high now, by Thursday, we will know,” he added.
However, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, the President of ASUU, said that although progress had already been made, it was too early to talk about reopening schools.
“I cannot tell you that (when the strike will be called off) now until I tell my members. It is the feedback we came for today but we have information for our members. Until we tell our members we cannot tell you,” the professor said.
Just like Ngige, the President of the Union also refused to say how much the Federal Government had offered ASUU. He also declined to speak on when students are likely to return back to school.
“Until we meet our members, we cannot give any information. That is why I said we are making progress and the progress we are making is in everybody’s interest and stakeholders will benefit at the end of the day. We will be meeting again on Thursday.
“We have trashed all grey areas so the progress we have made must first be related to our members,” he said.