The Federal Government of Nigeria has denounced the statements of the University of Jos Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) that the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, is responsible for the prolonged strike.
In a statement released by the office of the Minister, ASUU’s comment has been described as “baseless and dishonest”, as the Union is accused of bluntly refusing “to reciprocate the Federal Government offers.”
The FG said there was no basis for ASUU’s prolonged strike as it had already acted on the demands the Union made before embarking on the strike action.
“It is rather ASUU which has bluntly refused to reciprocate the Federal Government offers by refusing to either teach, conduct researches or engage in other academic values for which they are paid, that should be held responsible.
“Strangely, ASUU claims ‘patriotism’ as basis for this prolonged industrial action, forcing every patriot to raise concern over this weird definition of patriotism by ASUU officials.
“Living by its words, the Federal Government has fulfilled all the demands over which ASUU went on strike on March 9, 2020,” the government said.
The FG listed demands that have been attended to:
- The visitation panels to the universities have been approved by the President and will swing into action once the universities re-open. The office of the Attorney General of the Federation on the other hand is also rounding off the gazetting of the panels while the National Universities has Commission has received the approved list which will be published later next week.
- The revival of the Renegotiation Committee for the 2009 ASSU/FG Agreement demanded by ASUU has been set up by the Ministry of Education with Prof Munzali as Chairman, replacing the ex-chairman, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) the new committee is currently meeting.
- FG has also acceded to a hybrid payment platform which is not hundred percent IPPIS for the payment of salaries and Earned Academic Allowances/ Earned Allowances, pending the result and conclusion of the integrity and usability test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS) by the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
- FG also processed for payment, the sum of N70 billion, comprising N40b for Earned Academic Allowances / Earned Allowances and N30b for revitalization of the universities.
The FG said it expected ASUU to return to work, while Ministries of Labour and Employment, Education and Finance worked on the memo for the settlement of the outstanding salaries of July, August, September and October 2020.
“ASUU members are not above the law of the land, more so, when some of them are law teachers and industrial relations experts and are therefore expected to know better,” the statement added.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government and the officials of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had been in an emergency indoor meeting over the lingering strike on Thursday, 17th December, 2020.
- The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) insisted last week that it would not call off its strike action until the Federal Government fulfilled its promise and paid all the withheld salaries of its members.