Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue

A closed-door meeting between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Tuesday in Abuja ended in a deadlock.

However, Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue, who also serves as Chairman of the Universities Needs Assessment Committee (NEEDS), told newsmen that both parties had rescheduled their negotiations for August 19.

Suswan, who is the negotiator for the Federal Government, said that tremendous progress had been made in the negotiations.

He said that this was mainly on the NEEDs Assessment and Earned Allowance issues raised by ASUU.
The governor expressed his optimism that the issues would soon be resolved going by the progress made so far.

?Well the meeting continues next week Monday. We made some progress; we had very fruitful discussion with ASUU.
“We have agreed we are to meet again on Monday at about three o?clock. When we meet again we will be able to arrive at some decisions.??

He gave assurance that Federal Government was making effort to resolve the crises in the education sector.

Suswam said that government had introduced some new faces in the negotiating team, including the minister of finance and the director-general of the Budget Office.

“Now that finance minister is coming, we are getting close to resolving it because the strike is about settling some debts and also intervening in the universities and so she is here and she also contributed.

“I have spent so much time as governor being part of this which shows the seriousness which the president attaches to what is happening in the education sector.

“As I leave here, we are going to the second meeting which is on Needs Assessment. We want to make sure that we solve this problem so we are holding meetings round the clock.?

He said that government believed that the next meeting with ASUU would open a new phase in the negotiations.

The ASUU President, Nasir Fagge, refused to speak with reporters.

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