The expectations of Nigerians that academic activities will resume soon in the country’s public universities may have been dashed as Academic Staff Union of Universities (Asuu) has rejected offers from the Federal Government.
Following Asuu’s leadership meeting with Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment on Tuesday, he said the labour dispute with the university teachers was on the verge of being resolved.
Ngige further stated that the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance presented evidence that N15.4billion had been released to public universities.
On earned academic allowances, he said President Muhammadu Buhari approved N20billion to offset arrears of the 2009 to 2012 verified earnings by university teachers.
But speaking with Premium Times on Saturday, Asuu president Biodun Ogunyemi, said upon reviewing the offers made by the government, members of the union across various campuses and zones rejected it.
“Our members have rejected tokenism with respect to outstanding revitalization fund of N1.1 trillion. They are insisting that government should release at least one tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019.
“On earned academic allowances, our members said government’s proposed amount out of the verified balance should not be less than the total amount released last time, while evidence of mainstreaming the allowances into the 2019 budget should be shown. Also, timeline should be attached to payment of the balance of the arrears.
“The revitalization fund and earned academic allowances are the two critical areas on which our members feel strongly about. They expect necessary adjustments on the part of government before they can reconsider their decision on the ongoing strike action,” Ogunyemi said.