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NANS president to students: Expect good news soon

The President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Sunday Asefon, has told students to expect good news soon.

Asefon spoke on a day the Federal Governor through the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, also gave the same hope.

Ngige spoke against the backdrop of progress in the negotiation with the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

Asefon, writing on Facebook on Wednesday, said: “Good news soon Nigerian students!!!”

Ngige also on Wednesday said the Federal Government has been meeting with the ASUU over its lingering strike and assured Nigerians that the dispute with the lecturers will be resolved soon.

Ngige, who spoke after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House in Abuja, said the next meeting with ASUU is scheduled for Thursday.

He said: “As the issue is bordered on money, remunerations, welfare, we did another conciliation meeting inviting the Ministry of Finance, Budget Office of the Federation, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and again, with their employers on the 1st of March.

“After that, it became clear that two cardinal things were still keen: the issue of renegotiation of their welfare package as in the 2009 agreement; that agreement says you can review every five years, so, that issue stuck out like a sore thumb.

“Then another issue arose in that agreement – the payment platform of university transparency, accountability solution, which they say they’ve invented.

“They said they don’t want to be on IPPIS; that IPPIS was amputating their salaries and taking off certain allowances, and so, that it is not capturing their peculiarities.

“So, we now have to ask them to go back to these places, form committees with them.

“Education took them on the issue of 2009 agreement, which is renegotiation of their conditions of service, emolument, their remuneration allowances.

“Therefore, salaries, income and wages, and Ministry of Finance that produce the money are involved.

“So, they went back.”

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 was 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.

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