From Kehinde Adewole
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has told the Federal Government, being represented by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, that it should fullfill its promises to pay withheld salaries and N70 billion for Revitalization fund and Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) before asking lecturers to resume in public varsities.
ASUU was reacting to Ngige’s claims on Thursday that the FG has done all it could do to make ASUU resume work.
Revealing that the FG has, over the time, given ASUU incontrovertible evidence not to be trusted, having continously reneged on several promises made to the Union, ASUU local chairman, Ekiti State University (EKSU), Dr. Kayode Arogundade told FG, in an interview with newsmen on Friday, to first pay witheld five to eight months salaries of lecturers and drop the promised N70 billion into the appropriate accounts as agreed and then ASUU would follow suit immediately by announcing date of school resumption.
ASUU embarked on strike action in March 9 to press home their demands for revitalization fund, Earned Academic Allowances and others which government had agreed to make available several years ago.
After several meetings between ASUU and FG’s team led by Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister on December 9, alleged that ASUU reneged on its promise to end the strike, claiming that government has fulfilled the Union’s demands. But ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi countered him and denied reaching agreement with FG to end strike action.
Dr. Ngige on Thursday, December 17, for the upteenth time, lamented that ASUU has not called of it’s strike despite government’s efforts at fulfilling their demands in the best possible way it could.
But reacting to Ngige’s claims and Lamentations, Dr. Arogundade, said: “For so many years ASUU has been so considerate with government by signing many MoUs, meaning Memorandum of Understanding, and we resume after signing such MoUs only for government to renege on its promises. The last one we signed was MoA, meaning Memoradum of Action and it was endorsed by Ngige himself last year, but it has not seen the light of the day till date. That is why the Union, in its own wisdom, cannot trust government again. So Government should fullfill their promises first before we resume.
We are being careful. We don’t want to be seen as unreasonable by going on strikes every year. We are not happy that our students are not in school but government must make good their promises before we resume.
If government is promising to do something by December 9 and 11 this year and today is December 13 but government still haven’t done anything. It means if we had resumed, the government wouldn’t have done anything as usual. On lPPIS enrollment,
Ngige should live by example, he should first go and register on IPPIS and allow the government to pay his December salary through that platform, then all ASUU members will follow suit.”