ASUU Assured FG to Suspend Strike Today – Ngige

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ASUU Assured FG to Suspend Strike Today – Ngige
Nwolu Obiajulu

The Federal Government has countered the claim by the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi that the government had reneged on offers made to the union, noting that the government had delivered on its offers.

The ASUU President had said that the varsity lecturers would not suspend the strike until their salary arrears are paid by the government.

Reacting, Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment said that ASUU had agreed at their meeting with FG on November 27 to suspend the strike before December 9.

He said, “A gentleman agreement            was reached at the last meeting in which ASUU agreed to call off the strike before December 9, 2020, and the minister, in turn, agreed that once the strike is called off, he would get a presidential waiver for ASUU to be paid the remainder of their salaries on or before December 9.”

Ngige in a statement released by his media office on Tuesday titled, ‘We have kept our promises to ASUU – FG’ described as false and discomfiting for the leadership of ASUU to allege that the FG agreed to pay all salary arrears before it would suspend the strike.

He stressed that the timelines attached to the various proposals made to ASUU have been implemented.

The minister said, “The N40b Earned Academic Allowances have also been processed just as the N30bn revitalisation funds, bringing it to N70bn. Likewise, the visitation panels for the universities have been approved by the President but the panel cannot perform its responsibilities until the shut universities are re-opened.

He added, “They were paid for February and March, after which it was extended to April, May and June, months they were on strike on compassionate ground, bringing it to five months.

“Asking the government to pay these four months before it goes back to work means ASUU is placing itself above the law of the land and no government will encourage it as it is a recipe for chaos in the labour milieu.”

Meanwhile, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said that the nine-month-long strike by ASUU was an indication that university lecturers had not taken into consideration the larger challenges facing the country.

He said, “Government conceded something. The problem is that they refused to look at the problem of the whole country. The Minister of Labour is working hard at it. It is amazing how ASUU will stay out of classrooms for so long. There’s a need for our elite to understand the challenges facing the country,”

This post was written by Nwolu Obiajulu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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