The federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have again failed to reach a compromise to end the ongoing strike by university lecturers.
Lecturers commenced strike on November after accusing the federal government of reneging on some of its promises.
All attempts to make them return to the classroom have ended in futility. ASUU had demanded that the government pay N50 billion before it would call off its industrial action.
After another discussion with the leadership of the union on Friday, Chris Ngige, minister of labour, said the meeting was protracted.
“The meeting was protracted, but the good news is that we have gotten to the end of the tunnel,” he said.
The minister said while the government could not meet the N50 billion demanded by ASUU, it had offered the union a “reasonable” sum.
“We met them half way and we have finished the gray areas and on the issue of N50 billion, we have offered what we have.
“We do not have N50 billion and we cannot do N50 billion, but we have offered them something reasonable. So they have to take it back, and go and present to their members. We will know when they will go back by Thursday.”
Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU president, said progress had been made on the ongoing negotiations, adding that the meeting has been adjourned till February 7.
“So, far on the level of progress made so far, I cannot tell you that now until I tell my members,” Ogunyemi said.
“It is the feedback of the last meeting we came to present to government today.
“But right now, we have a new set of information that we have to go and present to our members until we tell our members, we cannot tell you.
“We are making progress and the progress we are making is for everybody’s interest and stakeholders will benefit at the end of the day.
“We will be meeting on Thursday, after which, we will address the press. We have trashed all areas, so the progress we have made must first be related to our members. So until we tell them, and they tell us what to do that, that is only when we can relate to the press.”