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Minister of Labour, Chris Ngigie Defends Budget Before Senate Committee

by Nwani Chisom
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Minister of Labour and employment, Senator Chris Ngigie while defending his ministry’s Budget before the senate committee said autonomy of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, can only work when a University generates it’s own resources to pay workers.

According to a statement by his media aide, Emmanuel Nzomiwu, Ngigie told the lawmakers that the Federal Government was addressing the strike holistically to ensure that other unions in the university system were carried along.

Ngige said;

“Out of the eight demands of ASUU, the government has solved five. We have made N50 billion available; N20 billion for the revitalisation of the universities and N30 billion for Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).

“The union agreed and went back to their members, only to return and say that the money for EAA should be for ASUU members alone, excluding other unions, namely, SSANU, NASU and NAAT,”

He explained that the Federal Government cannot ignore the other unions as such could be counter-productive to the smooth running of the university system.

“We cannot ignore the other unions whose services are indispensable for the full functioning of the university. If we ignore them, even if ASUU calls off the strike, the other unions will down tools-close the lecture rooms, the libraries, the laboratories- and, even the university gate,” the minister said.

Ngige further noted that the University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS), has been sent to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for assessment.

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