Senator Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour, has said that the federal government does not have the money to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Ngige stated this on Thursday night while speaking on channels Television.
He explained that the N1.3 trillion ASUU is demanding for was promised by the Jonathan’s administration and not the Buhari’s administration.
Ngige said: “The N1.3trillion you are talking about was promised by the (Goodluck) Jonathan government. Oil was selling between $100 to $120 per barrel then and the revenue of the federation was rich.
It was promised by that administration and they promised to kickstart the payment. They paid N200 billion which they borrowed from TETFund. They did not take it from the federation account. That payment spiralled even into 2016 — to our regime.
A committee was set up with ASUU as members. Government said ‘we are going to drop N25billion for you to show you in good faith that we are not talking nonsense.’
That one was dropped. Again, another money was paid last year because the committee couldn’t come up with anything that will generate funds”.
He further explained that the present government cannot honour the previous agreement but promised to seek other options to fund the universities.
We don’t have it. The government didn’t say we are going to pay N1.1trillion that is remaining. They said we don’t have this money and under the principle of capacity and ability to pay, let us renegotiate it because TETFund is still there.
“Unless you want us to take money from TETFund and deceive you like it was done in that period.”