The ongoing industrial action by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is set to continue after the Federal Government said it had no money for the lecturers. The union explained that the decision was taken due to the Federal Government’s delay in implementing their agreement, which include issues of salaries, the revitalization fund for universities, and the adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) payroll software.
The Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, had claimed that the Government lacked the money to meet some of the demands of ASUU – who went on a one-month warning strike on February 14. He also stressed that the N1.3trillion revitalization fund was a promise made to ASUU by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan when Nigeria’s finances were stable.
However, Dr Edor J. Edor, the ASUU Chairman of the UNICAL branch in a chat with DailyPost,described Ngige’s claim as a lie from the pit of hell.
Edor vowed that the ASUU strike would continue until the government met the body’s demands.
He said: “The Federal Government is known for insincerity, unresponsiveness when it comes to the matter of education. It is a categorical falsehood and a lie from the pit of hell for a government official to say in good conscience that the Federal Government had no money to attend to issues that pertain to education as being demanded by our union.
“It’s a lie and even the government official knows that it’s a lie. Elections are coming up, whatever INEC would demand to conduct such elections, the Federal Government would have the money, and that is because it concerns them, and it’s because that is the medium and platform they would use to go back to their various offices to feast on the resources of this country.
“But when it comes to education, they begin to dilly-dally, to trump up sentiments and tell Nigerians lies that the Federal Government has no money to attend to the demands of ASUU.
“It’s a lie from the pit of hell, but we too will wait for them until they have the money to attend to our demands. We will wait until they get the money to revitalize public institutions, improve our salaries, pay our EAA, pay our promotion arrears, implement the EUTA, pay our withheld salaries, then we will go back to the classroom.
“For as long as they latch unto that falsehood that there is no money, then for so long shall we remain on strike.”
Meanwhile, ASUU National President Emmanuel Osodeke, said ASUU NEC would meet this week to decide on the next line of action.