The federal government has reiterated its commitment to honouring the agreement reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to avoid another impending strike.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who made the submission on Monday however added that government doesn’t have the resources to meet all of ASUU’s demands at once.
He also ruled out the suggestion that the government was trying to blackmail members of the academic union.
www.tracknews.ng recalls ASUU had threatened to embark on another strike action over the failure of the government to accede to their demands as contained in the December 23, 2020, Memorandum of Action signed by both parties.
Some of the issues raised by ASUU include lack of full implementation of funding for the revitalization of public universities, and payment and mainstreaming of Earned Academic Allowances.
Others, according to him, are the implementation of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, and inconsistencies in Salary Payment with the Integrated Personnel Payroll System.
But the Minister on Monday blamed scarce resources for the non-implementation of the agreement. He stated that both the government and ASUU have a common goal which is to ensure the smooth running of the academic calendar.
“We cannot possibly be blackmailing them; we tried to explain to them that we will fulfill the agreements when we have the resources. Agreements have been signed and they are meant to be fulfilled, he told Punch.
“But we do not have all the resources to meet all the demands at once. The thing is that we all are working together – ASUU and the Federal Government. The goal is to produce graduates, who will serve Nigeria, and to make sure that the academic calendar is running smoothly.
“So, the government will always pay its dues; you do not have to go on strike to drive home your points. They need to know that it is not the government versus ASUU. It is about doing what is right. Let us use the resources as they come. There are lots of sectors that need attention.
“All we are saying is that once there are resources, we will meet your needs; all you have to do is to keep the academic calendar running. So, please, where is the blackmail?”
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