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ASUU strike: FG meets 7 of 8 demands

  • FEC okays 40 Innoson vehicles, 27 others for FRSC

THE Federal Government on Wednesday said it had thrashed out seven out of eight demands put forward by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), hoping that ongoing talks will lead to the resolution of outstanding disagreement.

ASUU has only just ended a one-week warning strike called to press home their demands.

Briefing State House on the outcome of Wednesday’s meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, confirmed that the meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, deliberated on the issue.

‎FEC also approved the contract for the purchase of 40 operational pick-up vans from Innoson Automobiles, Nnewi Anambra State and 27 cars from Peugeot Assembly plant in Kaduna for use by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

Ngige explained that government would not be able to meet ASUU demand for payment of the outstanding N24billion earned allowance because of the present recession in the country, but had agreed to exclude university endowment funds from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

He said government cannot exempt the universities from the TSA because the account was meant to ensure accountability in public accounting system.

However, he said both parties have resolved to continue talks on how best to resolve the ongoing differences on this and meet again next week.

Speaking on the vehicles approved for the FRSC, Ngige revealed that the 40 Innoson double-cabin pick-ups would cost the N299 million while the 27 Peugeot patrol cars would be N164.9 million.

According to him, the contract was influenced by the need to encourage local industries.

He added that FEC was awaiting another request for the purchase of specialised vehicles such as ambulances and towing vans for the FRSC.

‎Also on the agenda of the meeting was a review of the nation’s economic performance following the Third Quarter Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which indicated that the country was still in recession.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, who spoke on this, said the performance of the non-oil sector during the period was encouraging.

He expressed the belief that the oil sector performance would improved in the fourth quarter with the measures government has put in place.