Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, Thursday, said the Federal Government had done everything possible to please the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to end its protracted strike that had paralysed academic activities in universities for about 10 months.
The minister, in a statement by his Media Officer, said only ASUU leaders could tell why members were yet to return to the classroom to the frustration of students and their parents.
He dismissed as baseless and dishonest, the statement credited to the University of Jos chapter of ASUU, led by Dr. Maigoro, that the minister was responsible for the prolonged nationwide strike. According to Ngige, “It is rather ASUU, which has bluntly refused to reciprocate the Federal Government offers by refusing to either teach, conduct researches or engage in other academic values for which they are paid, that should be held responsible.
“Strangely, ASUU claims ‘patriotism’ as the basis for this prolonged industrial action, forcing every patriot to raise concern over this weird definition of patriotism by ASUU officials. “Living by its words, the Federal Government has fulfilled all the demands over which ASUU went on strike on March 9.
“The visitation panels to the universities have been approved by the President and will swing into action once the universities re-open. “The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, on the other hand, is also rounding off the gazetting of the panels while the National Universities Commission, NUC, has received the approved list which will be published later next week.
“Also, the revival of the Renegotiation Committee for the 2009 ASSU/FG Agreement demanded by ASUU has been set up by the Ministry of Education with Professor Munzali as Chairman, replacing the ex-chairman, Dr Wale Babalakin(SAN).
“The new committee is currently meeting. Similarly, the government has also acceded to a hybrid payment platform which is not 100 per cent IPPIS, for the payment of salaries and Earned Academic Allowances/ Earned Allowances.
“This pending the result and conclusion of the integrity and usability test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solutions, UTAS, by the National Information and Technology Development Agency, NITDA.