By Kanayo Umeh
Abuja — The Federal Government yesterday reopened negotiation with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on the 2009 agreement.
Chairman, Federal Government Negotiation team, Dr. Wale Babalakin, who spoke with newsmen in Abuja after long hours of meeting, said they had positive discussions and were on the good path for finalising the negotiation.
Babalakin noted that ASUU submitted a timetable with over 20 issues and the issues would all be discussed, adding that the memorandum that was signed between the Federal Government and ASUU, which ended the about three months old strike in February, was part of the document submitted by ASUU for deliberation.
He said that both sides were determined to put an end to the lingering problems in the system.
“We have resumed our renegotiation today (yesterday). The government team and ASUU were appropriately represented and we had positive discussions.
“We are actually hopeful that we are on a positive path to finalising the negotiation.
“There were very hectic discussions on topical issues and both sides had extensive contributions for the benefit of the university system.
“It is the same negotiation; we had interim discussion, that is over now and we are back to where we left off. So, it is a continuous negotiation,” Babalakin said.
When asked about the trust of their negotiation, he said: “In a negotiation, you have to seek the consent of the other party before you make such disclosures. But at the stage of signing an agreement, we will be willing to tell you all the headlines and all the important issues.
“We started this morning at 10:00 a.m. and we have just finished. Both sides are determined to put an end to this. I reckon that this will end within the fastest possible time.”
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who led the union negotiation team, however, declined comment with the media.