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Technologists protest over sharing of N40 billion in federal varsities

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Give FG ultimatum to resolve the controversy

Technologits in federal universities have issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to resolve the controversy over the disbursement of N40 billion released to four unions in the system.

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The N40 billion was meant for payment of earned allowances of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), and NAAT.

The varsity workers, under the aegis of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), are protesting the alleged disparity in the sharing of the money released to the four university-based unions.

They are also demanding that the government releases 50 per cent of the N71 billion accrued allowance being owed them from the 2009 agreement reached between the government and their union.

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NAAT President, Ibeji Nwokoma, said in Abuja, yesterday, that the association had written to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, informing him of its planned industrial action.

“We have written to the government that NAAT, as a body, ought to have been given a specified percentage of the N40billion. You must define it. You can’t just say ASUU 75 per cent and others 25 per cent. Let us know the specific percentage you are giving to NAAT as a union.

“In the MoU we entered with the government on November 18, in item number 2b, we demanded that in sharing of the N40billion released, the government should clearly define what is going to be allocated to each union and government agreed to the genuineness of our demand and said NUC and Federal Ministry of Education would work it out in conjunction with the union. What they have done negates completely the spirit of that MoU.

“We wrote to the government on the 30th of December, 2020. We have given the government 14 working days and if at the end of the ultimatum our demands are not met, we will resume our suspended strike. We will close down the schools, definitely, there will be no opening of schools. If anybody thinks that ASUU has called off the strike and that schools will reopen, then let the person dare us. Let us know how effective or how possible it is for schools to reopen when technologists are on strike.

“If the government in its own wisdom has said ASUU should take N30 billion from the N40 billion released, it is not the business of my union. We have also told the government that the arrears accruable to my union from 2009 to 2020 is N71billion and we have demanded 50 per cent of that amount. Nobody has a monopoly of closing or opening of universities by strike. We have said that repeatedly,” the NAAT boss said.

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