Emeka Nwajiuba, the Minister of State for Education, has described the striking university staff including the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Joint Action Committee of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions as wicked and mean.
VANTAGE NEWS reports that the university groups are currently on strike over the inability of the government to fulfill promises made to them.
Speaking in an interview with The Punch, Nwajiuba said it’s wickedness for the groups to embark on strike over issues the government would still solve in the nearest future.
Nwajiuba said, “We are negotiating with the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education and the same thing ASUU is asking for is the same thing they are asking for but they are willing to continue working.
“The only place we have a suspension of work is the ASUU, SSANU and NASU on account of things they believe are owed them. We believe every union is entitled to make these requests. The government has agreed with them. Government is only releasing money as they have it.
“The renegotiation committee has always been constituted; the only departure is in the willingness of ASUU, SSANU and NASU to continue working while the same entitlements are on.
“The others have same demands but are willing to continue working while they get their entitlements. We have consistently said if you disrupt academic programmes because of one entitlement you are supposed to get, you will eventually get the entitlement but our children would have lost the time they are supposed to learn, you are just being mean. There is no point disrupting everybody’s life, those people can’t regain their lives but you can regain yours, because you haven’t gotten it everybody else must lose something.
“The strike has not produced the money they are asking for, if the money was there they would have been paid the day they started the strike.
“Government has heard them, they are not wrong but the same way government has said they will get the money, for every strike they have embarked on they still get their money but human beings have lost times.
“They are not only being wicked to the government but they are wicked to the human beings that constitute Nigeria.”
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