The Federal Government has said it doe not have the resources to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at once.
Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said this on Monday in Abuja.
Nwajiuba, who spoke to The Punch, also faulted claims of the academic union that the Federal Government was blackmailing it.
Recall that ASUU had issued a three-week ultimatum to FG on November 15, 2021 to meet the agreement it signed with the union that eventually led to the suspension of the strike last year December.
VANTAGE NEWS reports that some of the demands of ASUU include the payment of earned allowances, payment of revitalisation funds to universities, creation of visitation panels, and implementation of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) for the payment of university staff.
Nwajiuba said, “We cannot possibly be blackmailing them; we tried to explain to them that we will fulfil the agreements when we have the resources. Agreements have been signed and they are meant to be fulfilled.
“But we do not have all the resources to meet all the demands at once. The thing is that we all are working together – ASUU and the Federal Government. The goal is to produce graduates, who will serve Nigeria, and to make sure that the academic calendar is running smoothly.
“So, the government will always pay its dues; you do not have to go on strike to drive home your points. They need to know that it is not the government versus ASUU. It is about doing what is right. Let us use the resources as they come. There are lots of sectors that need attention.
“All we are saying is that once there are resources, we will meet your needs; all you have to do is to keep the academic calendar running. So, please, where is the blackmail?”
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