Education

ASUU agreed to call off strike before December 9 – Ngige claims

The Federal Government of Nigeria has accused Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU of reneging on its promise to end the nine months long strike in a meeting on November 27.

The federal government disclosed while reacting to ASUU claim that the government failed to deliver it’s promises to the union.

ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi said that the union and the government agreed that all the salaries of striking lecturers would be paid before they return to the classrooms.

But weeks after, the government is yet to pay the remaining outstanding four months salary.

However, while reacting to ASUU’s claim through a statement titled, ‘We have kept our promises to ASUU – FG’, the government rejected the claim.

The statement released by The Minister of Labour and employment , Dr Chris Ngige said that ASUU and the Government agreed to call off the strike at the November 27 meeting.

“The truth of the matter is that 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 stated.

Ngige continued, “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.

“The gazetting is also being rounded off at the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation while the Ministry of Education is ready to inaugurate the various visitation panels.”

He disclosed that “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.”

The statement added, “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.”

 ASUU embarked on a nationwide industrial action on March 23, 2020, following its dispute with the Federal Government over their insistence on the implementation of the IPPIS in the payment of University lecturers’ salaries and allowances, as against the ASUU-developed homegrown payment platform, UTAS, which they believe guarantees the autonomy of the university.

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