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ASUU rejects FG’s offer, says strike continues

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has rejected Nigerian government offer, said strike continues till government releases “at least one tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019.”

“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,” ASUU’s National president Biodun Ogunyemi told Premium Times.

“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,” he added.

This came after the minister of labour, Chis Ngige said the Nigerian government reached an agreement with the union.

He said the accountant general and the ministry of finance have confirmed with evidence that N15.4 billion had been released to public universities.

Ngige also said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N20 billion to be used to offset the outstanding arrears of the 2009 to 2012 verified earnings in the universities.

He said the earned allowances will be released to ASUU as soon as the process is completed.

”These are the major issues we discussed and ASUU is supposed to take back the resolution of these meetings to their members. We expect that they will get back to us by Thursday,” he added.

Ogunyemi, however, described the government’s offer on the outstanding revitalization fund of N1.1 trillion as tokenism, said members insisted that government should release at least a tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019.

He affirmed that on earned allowances, government’s proposal should not be lesser than the total amount released “the last time” out of the verified balance.

“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.

The strike started November 4, 2018, as lecturers demand implementation of previous agreements with the government for improved funding of universities.


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