The federal government has said it’s not right for the academic Staff Union of Universities to accuse it of failing to implement the agreement it signed with them.
The federal govt. said there was a process through which decisions on such issues were taken which process had not been followed through as far because the agreement being remarked by ASUU was concerned.
Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, who disclosed this in an interview with the press while reacting to the fresh ultimatum recently issued by ASUU, accused the union of causing panic.
The press had last week quoted ASUU as expressing its readiness to commence another round of commercial action following what it called the failure of the national to implement an earlier agreement signed with the union.
ASUU gave the govt. till last week Tuesday to implement the pact or it might activate the procedure of embarking on a strike.
Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, The President, ASUU, told The PUNCH that the Federal govt. must do what it agreed to.
He said, “The government has refused to achieve resolute with us. Administration have stopped. In fact, they don’t take our calls again. Nigerians should tell the govt to try and do what it agreed On.
“We signed an agreement and in May, we reached a final agreement; We are now in August and no single thing has been implemented. Does it make any sense?”
But Ngige told the press that ASUU was pertaining to a gathering its leaders had with the Ministry of Education.
He said for the resolution at that meeting to become an agreement, there have been laid down procedures that has to be followed.
The minister said such an agreement must go through his ministry and end up at the Federal council, where a judgment would be reached thereon.
He said, “ASUU was talking a couple of meeting it had at the Ministry of Education. i’ve got not received any report thereon meeting.
“When they mention the govt, I’m confused whether or not they mean the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning or the Presidential Committee on Salaries and Wages or my ministry.
“When they discuss the govt, it’s a bogus statement, which they use all the time to confuse the general public.
“My ministry is the last point of call when negotiations with their employers fail. i’ve got nothing to do with their initial negotiation. But that specific negotiation they’re talking about needs to do with wages again.
“They are requesting a raise in money. So, once they finish within the Ministry of Education and also the National Universities Commission, they need to bring it.
“If the Ministry of Education agrees, it’ll bring it to the Salaries and Wages Commission similarly because the Presidential Committee on Salaries and Wages to look at. that’s how the govt works.
“It is that the report of the meeting with the education ministry that they said has not been signed. they’ll not sign until it’s looked critically at the ministry and that they feel it’s fit and proper to present to the govt. under the Presidential Committee on Salaries and Wages also because the Salaries and Wages Commission.
“If we are satisfied at that level, we take it to the Federal council. These are the stages. let them not be pretending as if they don’t know.”
The minister accused ASUU of always issuing strike threats to cause panic among the populace.
He added, “They just brandish these strike threats and cause panic among members of the general public, which isn’t fair.
“The thing encompasses a route. Babalakin was negotiating it before he was removed and also the committee re-constituted with a replacement chairman.
“The committee has been working. People came into that committee as members and a few others to look at. My ministry’s people are there to watch.”
When Oshodeke was contacted concerning the allegations made against ASUU by Ngige, he declined making further comments.
“I don’t want to respond to Ngige through the press. When I see him one on one, I will raise the issue with him. More so, I spoke with him at length yesterday (Sunday),” the ASUU President stated. ,,Punchng.com
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