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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have reacted to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige’s claim that the Federal Government cannot afford the conservative N110 billion for revitalization of the universities in the country.
ASUU’s Lagos Zonal Coordinator, Prof. Olusiji Sowande, in a statement on Sunday, urged parents, students and the general public not to be persuaded by Ngige’s claim.
Sowande said “the statement is laced with hidden fact that the minister and his team have no intention of ending the ongoing strike this year.
“The Nigerian public should be appalled that government team, having had series of meetings with our union, is just collating pertinent data required to engage our union.
“Consequently, government has deliberately been wasting the time and resources of our union on meetings and engagements it was not prepared for.
“It is therefore not surprising that Dr. Chris Ngige-led government team has not been able to return to negotiating table since the last engagement with our Union on November 4, 2020.”
On the claim that the federal government cannot afford the revatilization fund, the union lamented that “only recently, government approved N5 billion bailout fund to operators in the aviation sector to ameliorate the harsh realities of COVID-19 on their business operations.”
It also raised the concern that over the years, Nigerian government has spent over N1.5 trillion to bailout power generation and distribution companies to keep their business afloat despite privatization of the power sector.
“If government could bailout private businesses for “Business Good” then Nigerian public Universities deserved to be bailed out for “Public Good”. He asserted.
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