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Dr. Chris Ngige who is the Minister of Labour and Employment has asserted that the Federal Government has been holding meetings with the Academic Union of Universities (ASUU) over its lingering strike while assuring Nigerians that the dispute with the lecturers will be resolved soon.
Ngige made this disclosure on Wednesday while briefing the press after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House in Abuja.
According to him, contrary to insinuations that the government was not engaging with ASUU, there have been a series of meetings between all parties, and the next one is scheduled for Thursday to resolve the face-off.
The former governor also dismissed talks that the Federal Government has a different payment table for trade unions in tertiary institutions. Ngige noted that it might be impossible to raise the payment table because other unions, even in the health sector, might kick.
He said although the Government is not afraid of handling the situation, it has to operate within the available resource.
The Labour Minister also promised that the 13-year-old ASUU challenge involving a 2009 negotiation agreement and payment platform issues are being renegotiated and will be resolved before the end of the current administration.
Ngige’s remark is the latest from the Federal Government since the face-off with the university lecturers who had embarked on strike since February 14.
The public university teachers are seeking improved funding for the government-owned institution, and the adoption of its University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) payment platform among others.
Several meetings between the Federal Government and the union in the past months have yielded little results. Students across the country had earlier protested against the lingering industrial action, vowing to shutdown major roads in Nigeria.