The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has for the umpteenth time, urged the Federal Government to commit to agreements on meeting its demands over the on-going strike.
Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President, said in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that the union would communicate its decision on offers made by the government on Tuesday.
Ogunyemi said that contrary to some media reports, the union did not reject the offer of Federal Government or make fresh demands.
He, however, said that ASUU had shown a lot of commitment and called on the government to commit itself by paying one year’s tranche of allowances before the strike can be called off.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, after meeting with the union on Jan. 4 said the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation had provided evidence of N15.4 billion for the payment of salary shortfall in public universities.
He also noted that there was evidence that Mr President had approved N20 billion to offset the outstanding arrears of the 2009 and 2012, audit verified earnings in the university system.
Ngige, however, said the fund was being worked on and would be released to ASUU as soon as the process was complete, among other demands of the union.
On ASUU’s final decision on FG demands, Ogunyemi said “We have been reviewing the offer made by the government and we have concluded our consultations with our members.
Ogunyemi also said that members of the union were demanding to see money of salary shortfall paid into their accounts although they had seen the evidence of approval on paper.
He said the members of the union were demanding for concrete evidence on all outstanding areas that involved payments.
” Our members are saying let us see concrete evidence that government has paid not that government will be promising that it will do this and will do that.
“We did that with the N20 billion in 2017, government promised to release N20 billion in two instalments for September and October, 2017, that never happened until we went on strike in 2018.
“So, our members are saying, let’s go beyond writing anything on paper.
“Like I said earlier, on the issue of revitalisation, our members are saying we should not stop at tokenism,” he said.