The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has called on Nigerian parents to appeal to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to call off their lingering strike.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Keyamo stated that the government had done its best and appealed to parents whose wards are affected by the ongoing strike to beg ASUU.
Should we go and borrow to pay N1.2 trillion yearly? You cannot allow one sector of the economy to hold you by the jugular and then blackm@il you to go and borrow N1.2 trillion for overheads when our total income would be about N6.1 trillion. And you have roads to build, health centres to build, other sectors to take care of.
I will tell the parents, everybody to go and beg ASUU like the President said the other time, those who know them should appeal to their sense of patriotism. The nation can not ground to a halt because we want to take care of the demands of ASUU.
The moment ASUU went on strike we intervened. What is the manner again beyond that? The moment they declared the strike even when the strike began, we called them to a meeting. What manner is more than that? It’s not that we left them, to go on strike first and we were sleeping. And three months later we said okay can we start talking. The moment they declared, we immediately called them and said let us start talking. And as the talk started they still went on strike.” He said.
The academic union embarked on a 30-day warning strike on February 14 over the federal government’s failure to honour agreements signed by both parties, and the strike has lingered to this date. The union is demanding the withdrawal of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, and the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS. They equally seek the University Peculiar Payroll and Payment System, U3PS or UPPPS for the non-academic unions, among others.