Minister accuses ASUU of blackmail

Minister accuses ASUU of blackmail

Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige has accused varsity teachers of whipping up sentiments against the Federal Government to attract sympathy to its planned strike.

Dr. Ngige said the government had been implementing the Memorandum of Action signed in 2020 with the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The minister was reacting to the lecturers’ threat to throw public varsities into another round of strike to protest the yet-to-be met demands.

The lecturers said the full implementation of the 2009 agreement is what can avert the strike.

Ngige said the government released N70 billion in 2021 for both Revitalisation of Public Universities (N30 billion) and Earned Academic Allowances (N40 billion) to   demonstrate commitment to the MoA implementation.

The minister said: “It is not true. They have taken their Earned Academic Allowances for 2021. It was mainstreamed in the budget of 2021 and they got it.

“We paid N22.72 billion which was mainstreamed in the 2021 budget. And they have collected the one of 2020 where they got N40 billion and shared it between them and other unions. They got it in January 2021.

“When they called off their strike in December 2020, the release of funds was one of the agreements. They were paid N40 billion and another N30 billion for Revitalisation of Public Universities during the first quarter of 2021, bringing the total to N70 billion.

“If they say the EAA is not in the 2022 Budget, why don’t they allow the government to do a Supplementary Budget? There is a parameter that we use to calculate it. That parameter changes every year and it is the budget office that is calculating it.

culled from The Nations News

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