The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, on Friday, slammed the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for making outrageous demands on its dispute with the Federal Government.
He made the comment while speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today. “Should we go and borrow to pay N1.2 trillion yearly? You cannot allow one sector of the economy to hold you by the jugular and then blackm@il you to go and borrow N1.2 trillion for overheads when our total income would be about N6.1 trillion. And you have roads to build, health centres to build, other sectors to take care of.”
The Minister urged parents across the country to beg ASUU. “Like the President said the other time, those who know them, appeal to their sense of patriotism. The situation we are in now involves everybody. Nigerians should appeal to ASUU to go back to class. Parents should also beg the Union. It has got to that level. The prolonged strike is unnecessary,” he said.
Recall that the union embarked on a 30-day warning strike on February 14 over the federal government’s failure to honour agreements signed by both parties. ASUU demands include the revitalisation of public universities, payment of earned academic allowances and the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) for payment of university lecturers’ salaries, among others. The union extended its strike for another 30 days on Monday, the fourth since the industrial action commenced about six months ago.