The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke has berated the Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige over his poor handling of the strike action of the Union.
Prof Osodeke faulted the Federal Government’s over the way it was handling negotiation on the Union’s demands and the governments nonchalant attitude towards the ongoing strike.
Daily Report Nigeria recalls that the ongoing ASUU strike is in its 10th week today, but will end it two weeks. However, the strike action looks set for another rollover.
In an appearance on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ last week, Ngige directed the union to meet with the Benimi Briggs Committee.
According to the minister, the decision to suspend the ongoing industrial action rests solely in the hands of ASUU.
“It depends on ASUU. The ball is in their court. They should go and meet the Benimi Briggs Committee and look at what the committee is doing and make further inputs so that the work can be accelerated,” Ngige had said.
However, in an interview with Punch, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, described Ngige’s comments as shameful.
He said the union would have no choice but to roll over the strike when the current rollover expires in two weeks.
He said, “The rollover ends in two weeks, and there is no information, nothing new from the FG. They didn’t make any effort to get in touch with us or seek ways of ending the strike.
“Our members will decide after two weeks what step to take. We will meet. We are not begging them for discussion; they should invite us for any meeting. That’s the way it should be. We are not on strike with Ngige or Briggs but against the government, so why is he saying we should go and meet one committee or one person? We are on strike against a system. Ngige just talks without thinking. Are we on strike with a particular person?”
Some of ASUU’s demands include the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the UTAS payment platform the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.