Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba has expressed that the federal government cannot pay the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) N200 billion once to end the ongoing industrial strike.
“You can see what the Ministry of Finance is doing – it gave N50bn, N20bn – we don’t have N200bn in the coffers at a go. When the last President signed the agreement, he thought he might have the money. He was not properly guided; he just went to the TETFund and took 200bn and gave it to the university now the TETFund is in N300bn deficit.
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“The government can’t be managed like that: The government is not run by robbing Peter to pay Paul. All the money that we gave in 2017, 2018, up until 2020 was money that we managed to get out of the system. They might be up to N200bn at a time, but we’ve been able to pay Earned Allowances three times already. We pay each as they come.”
The Minister stated this in an interview with The PUNCH on Monday.
On the renegotiation with ASUU and the ministry, Nwajiuba stated that a committee has already been constituted, and everything ASUU asked has already been met.
He, however, stated that the only departure is in the willingness of ASUU and SSANU to continue working while the same entitlements are being worked on.