By Ignatius Ushie

Following an agreement with the Federal Government, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) have suspended their ongoing national industrial action with effect from midnight Friday, 26 February. In a statement obtained by PeakNews in Abuja.This was announced by the General Secretary, NASU, Comrade Peters Adeyemi, at the end of a meeting between the Federal Government and representatives of the unions as part of the ongoing efforts by Government to address the grievances of the unions.

Adeyemi said that at the end of their previous meeting with Government, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the unions took the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that emanated from it back to their members for appraisal. According to him “The concessions we were able to extract from the federal government had to do with the grievances that we had presented. We had eight items to be negotiated, which formed the basis for our ongoing national strike.

“Our members in our various campuses in the universities and inter-university centres had appraised the draft MOU, and then raised a few observations.”

He disclosed that their members also granted them the mandate to suspend the strike if they had a satisfactory meeting with the government side.

“We have held a meeting with the government side, and those areas that needed to be harmonised have been harmonised satisfactorily.

“And resulting from that development, we have agreed that this ongoing national strike in the universities and inter-university centres should be suspended with effect from midnight of Friday, 26 February, 2021.”

Speaking earlier, Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, described the deliberations as fruitful, as well as smooth “in the sense that we smoothened out the rough edges arising from former negotiations (with the unions).

“We have also issued a conciliation document called Joint Action Document or Memorandum of Action.

“Government is desirous of normal activities returning to the universities, so that we can take the actions one after the other.

“When normalcy is restored in that system, we intend to do the Visitation Panel, which is one of the agreements we have reached with them, and which cannot be carried out without normalcy in the university system.”

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