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ASUU’s 6 Month Salaries Demand Delaying Negotiations – FG

ASUU’s 6 Month Salaries Demand Delaying Negotiations – FG

ASUU’s 6-Month Salaries Demand Delaying Negotiations – FG

ASUU’s 6-Month Salaries Demand Delaying Negotiations – FG

On Thursday, the Federal Government said that the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ demands for payment of salary for the six-month strike period were preventing progress in negotiations with the union.

ALSO, READ Nigeria Labour Congress Plans One-Day Protest Over ASUU Strike

The FG emphasized that it would not give in to ASUU’s requests to receive payment for the salaries that had been withheld over the time period.

At the 47th State House Ministerial Media Briefing, which was held at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja and was hosted by the Presidential Communications Team, Minister of Education Adamu Adamu revealed this information to the media.

According to The PUNCH, ASUU began a one-month warning strike on February 14. But over the previous six months, the union has repeatedly prolonged the strike.

ASUU’s 6-Month Salaries Demand Delaying Negotiations – FG

Later on, other organizations that had been operating in universities across the country, including the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions, and the National Association of Academic Technologists, stopped doing so.

Responding to inquiries from State House Correspondents on Thursday, Adamu said that while ASUU’s future is still unclear, five of the university-based unions that are currently on strike will return to work within the next week.

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He denied receiving a two-week ultimatum from President Buhari adding that he successfully concluded his work one week after meeting the President on July 18.

The minister explained: “The President never gave me any deadline. I promised that I could do it within the shortest possible time. And for your information, one week after that pledge, I had already finished my job because I had given all the six unions the offer made by the government, and I want to tell you, in principle, all of them accepted it. The only exception was ASUU which gave me two other conditions, which I told them would not be acceptable to the government.

ASUU’s 6-Month Salaries Demand Delaying Negotiations – FG

“Let me seize the opportunity to commend ASUP (Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics). ASUP was on strike. But at the time I was given this (negotiation) responsibility, they were threatening to go back. So, I called ASUP and I made them withdraw the threat and they agreed.

“The next I met was the College of Education Academic Staff Union, they are on strike already. I gave them the offer and this is the final offer. And they accepted it. But you know the mechanism of acceptance, they will not just tell me, okay, the strike is called off. They have to go and tell their unions. And that is what is happening with NASU.

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I met NASU and SSANU. And they have accepted but they need time to go and tell the unions. The last group I met was NAAT.

“So, I can tell you within the next one week, these five unions will call off the strike. But I cannot say the same for ASUU because what they’re asking is, that they can accept this offer if the federal government will agree to pay the salary for the month they have not worked.

ASUU’s 6-Month Salaries Demand Delaying Negotiations – FG

And I told them the federal government will not. All contentious issues between the government and ASUU had been settled except the quest for members’ salaries for the period of the strike be paid, a demand that Buhari has flatly rejected.”

Adamu also argued that ASUU should bear the liability of compensating university students for the time wasted, not the Federal Government.

According to him, if the students are determined to get compensated, they should take ASUU and other striking unions to court and claim damages incurred over the strike period.

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“Who do you assume will compensate the students? The federal government? No. Probably you should take the leaders of striking unions to court to pay them. Yes. Probably the court will award damages and then we’ll see how they pay,” he said.

He regretted that ASUU proceeded with the strike despite the Buhari regime and agencies such as TETFUND and UBEC directly investing N2.5tn into education.

Adamu, however, noted that renegotiations are ongoing among ASUU members to determine when to call off the strike.

ASUU’s 6-Month Salaries Demand Delaying Negotiations – FG

“Unions in Tertiary Institutions in the country, especially the Academic Staff Union of Universities have been engaged in recurring and avoidable strikes that have crippled the university system.

“This is in spite of the huge investments of over N2.5tn in tertiary institutions in the last ten years from TETFUND alone. Just recently, we inaugurated a committee to renegotiate the 2009 agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities and related unions in tertiary institutions.

“We are doing everything humanly possible to conclude the negotiations. I am sure that the current efforts would yield the desired results and return our children back to school,” he said.

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The Minister also disclosed that although the ASUU-proposed University Transparency Accountability Solution and University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System out-performed the government-backed Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System in the efficiency tests conducted, the FG has not approved UTAS as claimed in some quarters.

Consequently, he said the FG would integrate ASUU’s peculiarities in any of the platforms eventually adopted. This includes updating IPPIS to now accommodate the payment of lecturers on sabbatical.


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