The President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government through the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Chris Ngige, has stated that it does not have the funds to meet its obligations in the agreement signed with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Page 36 learnt.
The Minister therefore, said that the government is considering a renegotiation of the terms of the agreement with ASUU, in its efforts to end the ongoing strike by University Lecturers.
He made this known while appearing on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’, on Thursday night.
When asked if he agreed that the government has failed to fulfil its side of the agreement with ASUU, Ngige said “no”.
On when the conflict would end, the Minister said: “I am hoping that ASUU should do the right thing and contact their members on the renegotiations that we have had in the last two weeks. First, the issue of earned academic allowances, we have agreed, giving a timeline to the NUC to go back to the old template used in working out the 2021 earned academic allowance – 10.8 percent of personnel cost.
“We want them to go back very quickly and use that same formula and get us what we are supposed to pay in 2022. That is agreed by everybody.”
On revitalisation of the Universities, Ngige said: “The amount is not very clear, what has been paid.”
He added that the actual amount paid is being determined.
On the release of N1.3 trillion between 2013 and 2018, to revitalise the Universities, with N200 billion released in 2013, and only N70 billion released in the last 7 years, the Minister who noted that government is a continuum, stated that the N1.3 trillion was promised by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
According to him, oil was selling at between $100 and $120 per barrel then, while the revenue of the Federation was rich.
He stated: “The government now says ‘we do not have the money to pay it’. This was the agreement between 2016 and 2017.”
He stressed that the government still does not have the funds to fulfil its side of the bargain.
Ngige speaking further, said that the government is now calling for a renegotiation of the agreement with ASUU, “unless you want us to go and take money from TETFUND and deceive you, as it was done in that period, and place it for you on the table”.
Elsewhere, emerging report indicates that President Muhammadu Buhari has donated $1 million to Afghanistan.
The Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Hissein Brahim Taha, disclosed this in a statement.
Commending the Nigerian government, Taha said that the OIC remains committed to supporting Afghanistan.
His words: “The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Hissein Brahim Taha, has commended with appreciation the generous donation of one million dollars made by the Republic of Nigeria to the Humanitarian Trust Fund for Afghanistan.
“This donation comes in time to add a new momentum to OIC’s efforts to contribute to easing the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, and to help in catering for the needs of millions of Afghan people, including women and children.
“OIC remains committed to the noble cause of supporting the Afghan people, and will spare no effort in implementing to the full, the special resolution on Afghanistan issued by the last extraordinary session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, held in December 2021, in Islamabad, Republic of Pakistan.
“The OIC appeals to all Member States, Stakeholders, and Partners, to come on board and make contributions to the Humanitarian Trust Fund for Afghanistan, through the Bank account reserved for this fund within the Islamic Development Bank, IsDB.”