The Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government were unable to resolve their differences during a three hour meeting on Monday.
The meeting which was aimed at re-opening negotiation over demands for improved funding for universities by the varsity teachers, could not come out with any resolution.
The meeting which began at about 5:30pm and ended at exactly 8pm,it was gathered, could not achieve much as both the ASUU team, led by its president, Biodun Ogunbiyi and the Federal Government delegation, led by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, resolved to continue the discussion at a later date.
Ogunbiyi, who initially refused to talk to the media, when accosted for that purpose, said the discussion was inconclusive, saying it would continue at a later date.
He said:”The meeting will continue at a later date. We will continue from where we stopped. We will continue at a later date.”
Asked whether there was any progress made at the meeting, he said: “We have started the discussion, we are continuing and the discussion will continue at a later date. That is what I can say for now.”
When further asked how soon they will reconvene the meeting, he said: “You will get to know about it.”
Desperate attempts made by newsmen to equally talk to the Minister of Education failed. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education earlier visited the Minister of Education and called on the government and ASUU to expeditiously resolve their differences so that the strike can be called off.
A statement signed by the Deputy Director of Press in the Ministry of Education, Bem Goong, and released to the media late yesterday, read thus: “Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education Services rose from a one-day oversight meeting with the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, expressing deep concern over the continued strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, urging the federal government and ASUU to expeditiously conclude the ongoing negotiations in order to bring back our students to their campuses and classes.”
“Committee Chairman, Hon. Aminu Suleiman said the Federal Government and ASUU must go beyond resolving the current strike to provide lasting solutions that will make strikes in the education sector a thing of the past.”
On his part, Education Minister Mallam Adamu Adamu said the government is desirous to confine strikes in the education to the dustbin history, adding, however, that funding remains the greatest obstacle.
The minister, however, said the workshop on sustainable funding for education in Nigeria coming up tomorrow at the Presidential Villa is expected to proffer lasting solutions to the sustainable funding for the sector.”