The protracted industrial dispute between the federal government and the Academic Staff of Union of Universities (ASUU) may soon come to an end as the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has assured that the striking university teachers would go back to their classrooms in January 2021.
He said the negotiations between the federal government and ASUU had reached 98 per cent, adding that it remains only two per cent to be completed
He spoke Monday in Alor, Idemili South local government area of Anambra State, during the launch of Ngige free medical outreach at the Community’s Health Center.
Ngige said, “We have met about 98 percent of the request of ASUU. Some 5 to 2 percent is what you can call promissory notes.
“So, I am very hopeful that by midnight today, there are some works we are supposed to get on to do. They also have some work they are supposed to do on their own side with their people.
“Tuesday, we will meet in the afternoon and we will compare notes. We will put everything on the table and compare. I believe that we might have come to the end of the strike when we meet tomorrow.
“Well, it is a journey of a thousand miles which you will have to take one step first. Tomorrow, all things being equal, we will agree now to agree because we were disagreeing before.
“We disagree to agree and agree to disagree formerly. But tomorrow, I hope we will agree to agree. Once we do that, schools will reopen in January,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Ngige said the free medical outreach that was launched in Alor Monday, was equally extended to neighbouring communities like Abatete, Oraukwu, Ideani and Nnobi among others.
He said those with different ailments like hepatitis, eye problems among others should go and be treated free of charge, adding that about 15 medical Doctors in different fields would handle the cases at the Health Center.