...Voice of the People

Strike: ASUU Accuses FG Of Insincerity

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has accused the Federal Government of insincerity in the management of its ongoing strike that has lingered for eight months now.

The union in a statement by its Lagos zonal coordinator, Prof Olusiji Sowande said the federal government has no intention of ending the ongoing strike action this year.

Sowande tackled the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, over claims that he would be inviting ASUU back to the negotiation table this week as the government have been having side meetings where collations are being made to ensure that all pertinent data and pending issues were brought to the place of negotiation.

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ASUU claimed that the government has deliberately been wasting the time and resources of the union on meetings and engagements it was not prepared for, stressing that it was appalling that the government team having had series of meetings with the union, was just collating pertinent data required to engage the union.

Sowande urged the parents, students, and the general public not to be persuaded by the statement made by Ngige, rejecting the minister’s public statement that the federal government cannot afford to pay the N110 billion for revitalisation of the public universities.

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He lamented that, “Only recently, the government approved a N5 billion bailout fund to operators in the Aviation sector to ameliorate the harsh realities of COVID-19 on their business operations.

“Over the years, Nigerian government has spent over N1.5 trillion to bailout power generation and distribution companies to keep their business afloat despite privatisation of the power sector.

“If the government could bailout private businesses for ‘Business Good’ then Nigerian public universities deserved to be bailed out for ‘Public Good’,” he added.

He reiterated that the issues in contention goes beyond the union’s rejection of Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) for which they have developed an alternative called University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), noting that members

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