Ministry of Education tells Students: Force lecturers to call off strike

The Federal Ministry of Education, on Wednesday, urged Nigerian students to compel the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its “unwarranted” strike.
Meanwhile, the union had informed students and parents via a Facebook post made available to one of our correspondence at TEAM PLATO REPORTS, that it was not considering calling off the strike declared since March 23.
It claimed that the federal government was unserious and unwilling to fulfil its core demands for the betterment of university education.
“We wish to let Nigerians especially our students and parents know that there is no hope in sight to ending or suspending the ASUU strike that has lingered for several months as Government is yet to show serious commitment towards addressing our core demands. Our members have been advised to seek other legitimate means of survival as the Government has not released salaries withheld since February, 2020,” it stated on Tuesday.
Among ASUU’s demands are the proposed 110-billion-naira revitalization fund and the approval of its own payment model (University Transparency and Accountability Solution).
But the Education Ministry’s Spokesperson, Ben Bem Goong told on Wednesday said that the union was at fault regarding its actions and negotiations with federal government.
He stated the view that students should hold ASUU to account and ensure that they return to the classrooms.
He argued that the union cannot tell federal government how to pay them.
“They should pressurize ASUU to call off the unwarranted strike. There’s nowhere in the world where an employee dictates to the employer how he should be paid. Once the public tells ASUU that ASUU is wrong, we will return to classes the next day.
“As long as we maintain the vague statement that Govt and ASUU should settle the matter, ASUU will misunderstand that to mean support for them. Let’s call a spade a spade,” he said.
However, the Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige had said that government was still studying ASUU’s payment platform.
“No, the UTAS, that is the University Transparent System which they brought is not yet ready. It is not fully ready, it is undergoing an integrity test for the software. I am not a computer scientist, but you must also know that you must test the hardware in the integrity test for the software,” he said at a press briefing.

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