The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige and the striking non-academic staff unions of Nigerian universities are further torn apart over claims and counter claims that Thursday meeting to ensure a suspension of the industrial action embarked upon by the workers was inconclusive.
The unions had walked out of Thursday’s meeting after several hours, without offering interview to any journalists, but reacted off camera that the meeting failed to address their demands.
But, in a statement by minister of labour, Chris Ngige on Friday evening and signed by deputy director press in the ministry, Charles Akpan, the Federal Government stated that the meeting it held Thursday with the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU did not end in deadlock.
The Minister said Contrary to media reports agreements were reached by both parties with timelines, which were documented as Memorandum of Understanding, MOU.
Ngige added that five issues discussed had agreements, while only one had a proposal, which was a government proposal for the unions to go back and discuss with their organs.
He said the MOU was given to leaders of the two unions to go and consult their people with a view to calling off the strike latest by Monday, February 15, 2021.
Meanwhile, the president of the senior staff of Nigerian universities, Mohammed Ibrahim insists that their demands have not been met, which include; delisting them from the Intergrated Payroll and Personnel Information Systematic, IPPIS, equitable sharing formula of N40 billion earned allowance and payment of benefits of retired staff members among others.
Mohammed however did not confirm a meeting with SSANU and NASU organs with a view to suspending the ongoing strike.