ASUU Strike: Govt Has No Money To Meet ASUU’s Demands – Keyamo

Mary Ugwuanyi

Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, has declared that the federal government does not have the resources to meet the demands of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and other university-based unions.

Keyamo who was recently appointed as the spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential campaign, asked parents to beg ASUU members to call off their almost six-month strike. He noted that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government will not borrow money to meet ASUU’s demands.

The minister disclosed this when he appeared on Channels Televisions programme, ‘Politics Today’ on Friday.

Keyamo described the negotiation between ASUU and the Nimi Briggs led committee set up by the federal government, as ‘unrealistic’. According to him, the negotiation was done without input from the Ministry of Finance and other relevant agencies with critical responsibilities.

See Also: ASUU Strike: FG Discloses Strategy To End Lingering Strike

He said, “At a point, we set up the Nimi Briggs committee to receive the complaints of ASUU and look into how the report could be accommodated within the framework of the finances of the government.

“When the committee began to sit with ASUU, there were critical institutions of government that were supposed to be in those meetings. National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Budget Office of the Federation, Head of Service, Ministry of Finance. ASUU at a time rejected these agencies from sitting down with them.

“How can you sit down with the Ministry of Education without those with the purse of government? Without those who know … how people are to be paid? That was what ASUU did with the Briggs Committee. They sat down and fixed their own salaries and emoluments with the Ministry of Education without the other critical stakeholders.”

He added, “The proposal ASUU is talking about is N1.2 trillion. I will tell the parents, go and beg ASUU. Like the president said, those who know them should appeal to their sense of patriotism.

“Do you want me to kneel down and beg ASUU on air as a parent also? I can kneel down to beg them. The nation cannot grind to a halt because we want to take care of the demands of ASUU.”

Source: Premiumtimes

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