Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige says there will be consequences if the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) refuse government’s overture to return to the negotiating table.
Ngige disclosed this on Sunday in a statement signed by his media aide, Emmanuel Nzomiwu, in Enugu.
The statement said Ngige spoke in his hometown Alor, Anambra, where he donated palliative worth N15 million to vulnerable households to cushion COVID-19 effects.
He said that the Federal Government could activate relevant labour laws to deal with the situation.
He further said that the law permits the Federal Government to approach the National Arbitration Panel (NAP) and even the National Industrial Court (NIC).
The minister said that the ASUU strike was all about the disagreement on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
“Any other reason given by ASUU is an alibi. I invited ASUU for a zoom meeting in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, but they insisted on meeting me face to face.
“So the better thing is for them to come and negotiate on a firsthand basis where we are not bringing an external arbitrator,” he said.
According to him, ASUU as an employee lacks the right to dictate to the Federal Government on how to receive wages.
He said that the Joint Tax Board (JTB) had penalised the Federal Government for non-remittance of the monies to the benefiting state governments.
The minister said that it was sad that ASUU had been uncompromising in the dispute.
“We had discussions and they said some of the agreements we had in Memorandum of Action 2019, were not implemented vigorously.
“We agreed that they will be paid N25billion for their earned academic allowances and another N25billion for the revitalisation of the university system.
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