The Federal Government has said it will ensure that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) does not embark on strike by initiating the process of paying their members’ outstanding funds on Wednesday.
The Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, who made this known on Tuesday while appearing on a television programme, said he had yet to be officially put on notice by ASUU.
He said, “The strike will not happen. For one, I know that the fund to pay with is there and the Ministry of Education has assured me that by Wednesday they would emanate letters to make sure that the disbursement reaches the accounts of the various universities. We are not paying the unions directly, it will get to the universities’ accounts.
“I will have a meeting with the Minister of State for Education who is the one in charge of the affairs now because the main minister (Adamu Adamu) is overseas on health grounds. I will evaluate the situation with him and we would make sure that the disbursement goes on.”
ASUU has given the Federal Government a 21-day ultimatum over the failure of the government to implement the agreement reached with it.
This is as the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, claimed in an interview, that the union had failed to submit a breakdown of the workers entitled to the N22.1bn earned allowances.
Meanwhile, ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, at a press conference held on Monday had blamed the Federal Government for failing to honour the agreement it signed with the union, which made it call off its strike in December 2020.
ASUU embarked on a nine-month strike in March 2020, following its disagreement with the Federal Government over the funding of universities and alleged ineffectiveness and discrepancies around the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System and others.