ASUU’s demand mustn’t violate wages commission procedure –Ngige

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Chris Ngige
Chris Ngige

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, on Tuesday in Abuja said that the Federal Government was committed to enhancing the remuneration package of university lecturers.

Ngige spoke to State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja after briefing the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on the status of FG’s current engagement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

The minister said, “Yes, our university lecturers deserve good pay. A worker deserves his wages. So, if we compare with what obtains in other climes and they are not adequately remunerated, there is nothing that stops the government within the lean resources we have to do some compensation raise and make them happy.

“So, we are not opposed to that but there is a process like I explained to them.”

Ngige noted that a timeline had been given for the draft proposal the union submitted at the Ministry of Education for their conditions of service and wages to be concluded.

He said when the relevant committee headed by chair of pro-chancellors submits its report, it will be considered together with the National Salaries and Wages Commission to ensure that the proposed allowances do not exceed government’s extant fixtures.

According to him, Buhari was satisfied with his brief and the “2020 December agreement with ASUU is on course in terms of implementation.”

Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria on Tuesday knocked the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, for walking out of the discussion held with the representatives of the National Association of Nigerian Students on the lingering strike by ASUU.

The union described the minister’s action as ridiculous just as it threatened to embark on a solidarity strike with ASUU if the impasse was not resolved in two weeks.

The union made its position known in a statement signed by its National President, Quadri Olaleye.

It read, “The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria under the leadership of Quadri Olaleye vehemently frowns at the level of condescending attitude exhibited by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, by walking out of the discussion held with the representatives of the NANS, while protesting the continued face-off between the government and members of ASUU, who have paralysed.(Punch)

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