The president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has reacted following a proposed N1.12trn for its members and other unions by the Nigerian government.
DAILY GIST reported earlier that the federal government had said the sum of N1.12 trillion will be released to pay the salaries and allowances of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other staff in the university system.
According to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, the proposal made by the Prof. Limi Briggs-led Committee in relation to the demands by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other unions in universities would gulp N1.12 trillion to implement.
Ngige, in a statement signed by the Deputy Director Press and Public Relations in the Ministry, Olajide Oshundun and obtained by DAILY GIST on Thursday said having rounded off its work, the Briggs Committee had proposed 109 -185 per cent increase in the university wage structure.
It explained that based on the recommendation, federal government would incur, “an additional N560 billion as salaries alone, on top of the present N412 billion, less all other allowances such as earned academic allowances and fringe benefits, teaching allowance, field trip responsibility and post-graduate supervision allowances, and hazard allowances which were to gulp another N170 billion.”
Ngige added that: “In all, the sum of N1.12 trillion will be needed to pay the salaries and allowances of university lecturers and other staff in the university system.”
But reacting on Thursday, Emmanuel Osodeke, president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) disclosed that the union is not aware of the figure being circulated by federal government as the amount needed to resolve the strike.
The ASUU president said Chris Ngige, minister of labour, has been misinforming President Muhammadu Buhari on the union’s strike.
On July 11, Buhari appealed to the union to reconsider its ongoing strike because the action is taking a toll on parents and students.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme on Thursday, Osodeke said if the president had been properly briefed he would not have made such a statement.
Concerning the negotiation, the ASUU president said the union is not aware of the figure being circulated by federal government as the amount needed to resolve the strike.
“If the president had been properly briefed by the committee through the minister of education, I don’t think the president would have said enough is enough, go to your class while we are negotiating,” he said.
“It is the labour minister and his group that would have gone to the president to tell him that if we chase out his people, we refuse salary.
“We are not aware of where their so-called figure arrives from. In all our agreement and discussion, we didn’t talk about 1.2 trillion or 2.4 trillion, or whatever. We didn’t.
“We didn’t calculate the quantum of what we would need. We calculated what each member of our union will earn.
“If this man who is telling you this figure can tell a lie that ASUU chased out his members from the negotiation table, why would he not tell a lie about the figure.
“The ministry is churning out fake figures. We negotiated with the ministry of education, so wherever they got the documents is their business.”
DAILY GIST reported that ASUU had commenced nationwide strike on February 14th 2022, citing different demands which the FG had failed to meet as its reasons.
Some of the demands include, payments of salary arrears, better working conditions, renegotiation of the 2009 FG-ASUU agreement, payment of earned academic allowances, funds for the revitalization of public universities, promotion arrears, and poor funding of state universities.
Other tertiary institution unions also on strike include the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
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