ASUU rejects FG offer, says strike continues
The striking Academic St aff Union of Universities ( ASUU) has rejected the offers made to it early this week by the Nigerian government.
At the seventh meeting with the leadership of ASUU last Tuesday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said the labour dispute with the university teachers was at the verge of being resolved. He listed the fresh concessions made by the administration to ASUU.
According to Ngige, the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance presented evidence that N15.4 billion had been released to public universities.
On earned academic allowances, he said President Muhammadu Buhari approved N20 billion to offset arrears of the 2009 to 2012 verified earnings by university teachers.
President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, in an interview with journalists Saturday morning, however, said that after reviewing the offers made by the government, members of the union across various campuses and zones rejected it.
Ogunyemi, described government’s offer on the outstanding revitalisation fund of N1.1 trillion as tokenism, saying members are insisting that government should release at least a tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019.
He added that on earned allowances, government’s proposal should not be lesser than the total amount released “the last time” out of the verified balance.
Recall that as part of the agreement reached between the union and the government before ASUU ended its industrial action in September 2017, the Federal Government released a total sum of N22.9 billion for earned allowances of both academic and nonacademic staff across 22 Federal universities.
Of the amount, academics under ASUU got N18.3billion, while nonteaching staff belonging to the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University ( SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists ( NAAT) got N4.6 billion.
The sharing formula, which was condemned by the three non-academic staff unions, had led to pockets of protests across various campuses at the time, and eventually compelled the unions to embark on prolonged strike.
Apparently to avoid the controversy that greeted the sharing of the allowance in 2017, ASUU is insisting that the Federal Government should categorically state the amount earmarked for its members, which it said must not be lesser than N18.3 billion it received then.