The Academic Staff Union of Universities has blamed Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment for the lingering strike that has continued, accusing him of “disdain for Nigerian academics.”
The union said his recent utterances have shown he disdain for the lecturers and has failed to play a role in ending the strike action.
“He has now become the spokesperson to the Accountant General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance, instead of finding a solution for lecturers to get back to work,” ASUU said in a press conference at the University of Abuja on Tuesday.
In the press conference read by ASUU Abuja zonal coordinator, Theophilus Lagi accused Ngige of setting the union and other pressure groups in the university on a collision course, which has currently lead to a warpath.
“In one of his comedies of error, Ngige told the nation that the striking lecturers had been paid salaries up to date when he knew university lecturers were being owed salaries for between Nine to Six months for no just cause. In another fit of treachery, the Minister during a recent Budget defense at the National Assembly, while upholding the existence of University Autonomy Law, attempted in vain to redefine its provisions,” the union said.
“Dr Ngige is, by now, a figure well known for a poignant penchant for speaking from both sides of his mouth.
“This is demonstrated by his irregular postures in the ongoing negotiation between the federal government and our union which, to say the least, betray his insincerity and irresponsibility as an appointee of the federal government.”
ASUU noted that during a meeting with the union, Ngige would say a different thing and grant another thing during media interviews.
The union noted that the attitude of the Minister should be a thing of concern to the Nigeria students and parents.
ASUU noted that if Ngige remains in charge of the negotiation between the Federal Government and the union, there is no hope in view, adding that the Minister is undermining public universities reopening in the country.
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