With the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) still on strike, the negotiating team which was set up by the Federal Government to dialogue with the Union so as to find a solution to the present crisis has advised the Union to take dialogue more seriously as it is the most effective way to reach a common ground and resolve the ongoing dispute between the Union and the Federal Government.

It will be recalled that it has been over a week since the Union (ASUU) announced their decision to embark on a nationwide strike to protest against the unencouraging manner in which the Federal Government has been handling funding to the education sector.

The National President of ASUU, Abiodun Ogunyemi, while declaring the strike last week also explained that the Union took the decision because the Federal Government has refused to honour the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Union and the Federal Government in 2017.

However, while speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Saturday, the Chairman of the negotiating panel of the Federal Government, Dr Wale Babalakin has urged the Union to reconsider their decision.

In his words, Dr Wale Babalakin explained that ASUU should be willing to have a table dialogue rather than releasing statements to newspapers as some of the statements being released by the Union are affecting the narratives of the real situation of the matter.

Below is an extract of Dr Wale Babalakin’s statement;

Our attention has been drawn to the several statements made by Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, President of the ASUU and echoed by various zonal heads and other members of the same union.

“As we had stated in our previous communication on this matter, we believe that negotiations are best done on the table rather than on the pages of the newspapers, hence we have been very reluctant to respond to the campaign of our co-negotiators.

“Our position is that dialogue on the same table is the most effective way of resolving issues.

“Unfortunately, we are compelled to respond to the allegations by ASUU which have been made in the print and electronic media because some Nigerians may begin to believe the inaccurate narratives that have been consistently provided by ASUU.

“Our position as a team is that Nigerians deserve and should have a quality education. This must not be compromised as a result of inadequate funding which has been the situation in the last 30 years.

Dr Wale Babalakin also said the Federal Government would need over N2trillion to meet the demands of the ASUU.

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