The federal government N163 Billion commitment to the universities from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), on Monday Night was not good enough to halt the strike action embarked upon by the Association of Staff Union of University.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Chris Ngige revealed the commitment of the federal government while addressing newsmen after a closed door reconciliatory meeting with leaders of the union on Monday in Abuja.
Naija News recalls that ASUU embarked on an indefinite strike November last year, following the failure of the federal government to fulfill the agreement made with the union.
According to Ngige, today we have agreed to fund revitalisation.
“Government has released about N163 billion from TETFund account to universities.
“So, we have gotten some substantial agreement in most of the areas of the agreement.
“Most of the issues have being resolved, so they are going to go back to their members and present government’s offer to their council,‘’ he said.
Ngige, also added that the union did not ask for N50 billion before they would call off the strike.
“These are debts of 2009, owed by the past administration, that is 2009 to 2012, so it is not our own debt and we have been doing a lot to settle these debts.
“So, we will be reconvening at the instance of ASUU. They said they want to go and consult with their members and they cannot call off the strike without consulting with their members,’’ he said.
Naija News understands that President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier yesterday directed the Minister of of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, to do all in his power to end the ongoing industrial action by ASUU.
Also, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President, said that there were still some grey areas in the proposal presented by the Federal Government.
He said the union would look at the grey areas and would get back to the government.
“The most critical area is the revitalisation, because it is central to our work, as academics and unless that area is addressed our members will have issues with ongoing action.
“We also did not ask for N50 billion, we are saying that the minimum we expect government to release in order to reactive the revitalisation fund is N50 billion.
“So, the strike is still on,’’ he said.
ASUU demands included some areas of understanding in the implementation of the Memorandum of Action agreed in 2017.