Ngige accuses ASUU of blackmail

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Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige has accused varsity teachers of blackmailing the Federal Government with the view to attract sympathy to its planned strike.

Dr. Ngige said this in reaction to the lecturers’ threat to throw public varsities into another round of strike to protest the yet-to-be met demands citing partial implementation of the 2009 agreement they had with the federal government.

The minister discountenanced ASUU’s allegation saying, “It is not true. They have taken their Earned Academic Allowances for 2021. It was mainstreamed in the budget of 2021 and they got it.

“We paid N22.72 billion which was mainstreamed in the 2021 budget. And they have collected the one of 2020 where they got N40 billion and shared it between them and other unions. They got it in January 2021.

 “When they called off their strike in December 2020, the release of funds was one of the agreements. They were paid N40 billion and another N30 billion for Revitalisation of Public Universities during the first quarter of 2021, bringing the total to N70 billion.

“If they say the EAA is not in the 2022 Budget, why don’t they allow the government to do a Supplementary Budget? There is a parameter that we use to calculate it. That parameter changes every year and it is the budget office that is calculating it.

“Maybe by March the Budget Office would have known what the parameter will be and put it in the 2022 supplementary budget. The EAA they got in 2021 was in the supplementary budget.

“We are implementing the MoA, we have been implementing it religiously. When they (ASUU) are talking like that, I don’t like it because they are talking just to whip up sentiments.”

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