The Federal Government has said that members of the University Academic Staff Union, ASUU, have no justification to embark on another round of strike, claiming that it has responded to all demands of the professors within the limit of available resources.
The director of Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Bem-Goong, stated this while speaking to Tribune Online in Abuja, in reaction to the strike threats attributed to the national president of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that a section of the media reported that Mr. Osdeke said that the Revitalization Fund of N30bn and the Earned Academic Allocation of N22.5bn for a sum of N52.5bn released by the Federal Government were not enough to cope with the challenges facing college. system.
Mr Osedeke was further quoted as saying that there was a possibility that the union would still go on strike, unless the government addressed their demands, including the 2009 agreement.
In reaction, the ministry spokesman said the strike was unnecessary as it has done more harm than good to the university system.
He noted that an entire academic calendar was missed due to industrial action from the last nine months by ASUU, which most universities are struggling to remedy.
He said: “I think all Nigerians except ASUU have agreed that we should look at other options to address the problems that the Union has raised over the decades.
“We have lost the entire academic session due to the strike; all the universities have lost it. ASUU itself should think outside the box. If you are doing the same thing every year and it is not working as expected, you should think about doing it differently.
“For 20 years, 2 decades, we have been inundated with strikes, so I believe that ASUU must look beyond the strike,” he said.
He regretted that ASUU has been using the earned allowance, simply described as an overtime allowance to derail the university system with frequent strikes.
He said that the allowances obtained as required by ASUU, simplify the allocation of overtime that had been stopped in the regular civil service.
“Actually, it is an overtime allowance because the teachers say that we have worked some additional loads in addition to our normal hours.
“Yes, in the ordinary civil service, we have stopped the overtime assignments, but in the academic area the earned allowance is still a topical issue.
“But if you ask me, ASUU is committing the accrual problem to continue derailing the education sector, especially at the university level.
“The truth is that current academic standards dictate that universities must use the best of their hands in each department in each session.
“Each department retains that student who did First Class and if you continue with that in time or in a short time, you would have eliminated the problem of a professor working in so many institutions and saying, I have done overtime.
“Regular professors would have been available, but universities have deliberately refused to implement that, conserving the best of their brains in all departments aimed at ensuring they have sufficient manpower,” he said.
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