ASUU To Call Off Strike Dec.9-Ngige
iexclusive News Nigeria reports that the Federal Government has faulted claims by the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, that it has failed to deliver on the timelines on offers made to the union.
It insisted that the timelines had been complied with and “faithfully implemented”.
The Minister of Labor and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, revealed that ASUU agreed at their last meeting with the government team on November 27 to call off their nine-month-old strike before December 9.
“The truth 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.
This was contained in a statement from Ngige media office on Tuesday, titled, ‘We have kept our promises to ASUU-FG’.
The statement also cited part of the agreement reached at the meeting with ASUU in which the labour minister said he had consulted with the Minister of Education on getting a waiver on the issue of ‘No Work, No Pay’ under section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act.
Ogunyemi had blamed the FG for union’s failure to call off the strike, noting that the lecturers would not return to classes until their salary arrears were paid.
But refuting the claims, Ngige said it is false and discomfiting for ASUU to wrongly inform the public that the government agreed to pay all withheld salaries before it will resume work, stressing that the timelines attached to the various offers made to the union had been complied with.
The minister stated, “For instance, the Federal Government promised to constitute a Negotiation Committee for the 2009 Agreement and has fulfilled it with the last week’s inauguration of the committee that has Prof Muzali as chairman.
“The N40b Earned Academic Allowances have also been processed just as the N30b revitalization Fund, bringing it to N70 billion. 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 gazzeting 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.”
Ngige explained that he got special presidential approval to demonstrate good faith to ASUU members that the government was not on a vengeful mission or out to starve the lecturers to death as some of them were claiming.