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  • Samson Omale

ASUU Blames Labour Minister Ngige For Prolonged Strike, Vows To Continue Strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Productivity, of sabotage, vowing not to call off the ongoing strike.

ASUU had commenced one-month warning strike on February 14, 2022, which the union has extended several times after the Federal Government failed to meet up with its demands.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says the two-week ultimatum issued by the President on Tuesday to resolve the concerns raised by the union is too much.

For the lecturers, they are claiming that the issues in ontention will not take more than two days to address the issues that have plunged the nation’s public university system into a prolonged strike that is currently in its fifth month.

ASUU National President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, while briefing reporters in Abuja, the nation’s capital said the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige should be blamed for the present situation.

Professor Emmanuel Osodeke said it appears that Dr. Ngige has deliberately misrepresented the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) convention on the collective bargaining agreement and the roles of a conciliator to serve his propagandist interest in this matter.

He went further to say that, Dr. Ngige kept going back and forth on concluding the integrity test for the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) for replacing the discredited Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS) contrary to the letters and spirit of the Memorandum of Action (MoA) of December 2021.

The ASUU National President explained that When they expressed their frustration at the manner the engagement processes were going, Dr Chirs Ngige. went on to lampoon the Ministry of Education; saying he was not their employer. At a point, ASUU said Dr. Ngige directed our Union to go and picket the office of the Minister of Education, who is their employer! Subsequently, he tactfully recused himself.

Lecturers in government-owned universities embarked on a nationwide strike on February 14 over the adoption of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) of the government as the payment system in the university sector.

They had also decried the poor funding of universities, non-payment of salaries and allowances of some of their colleagues, as well as the inability of the government to pay earned academic allowance to lecturers, among other issues.

Since the industrial action began, several negotiations between the union and the government have ended in deadlock.

Amid outcry over the effect of the industrial action on the nation’s tertiary education sector, various individuals and groups have asked the government to find a lasting solution to the crisis.

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