ASUU’s Ultimatum to FG ends, lecturers say demands unmet

The Federal Government has begun moves to prevent an industrial action in the country’s public universities as the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ three-week deadline ended on Sunday.

The  Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, said  the ministry had written a letter to the Ministry of Finance on the payment of allowances to staff of universities.

But the union told one of our correspondents that government had only met one of its demands.

ASUU had on November 15  given the Federal Government a three-week ultimatum over government failure to meet its  demands.

The lecturers  threatened to embark on  another round of industrial action following the ‘government’s unfaithfulness’ in implementation of the Memorandum of Action  it signed with the union upon which last year’s strike action was suspended.

After the union’s National Executive Council  meeting at the University of Abuja on November 13 and 14,  ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, lamented that despite meeting  with  the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige on  October 14, 2021, on  issues including funding for revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution, promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, and the inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system payment,  none of the demands had been met.

The Federal Government  promised to pay  N30bn as revitalisation fund to universities. It also promised to pay  N22.1bn  earned allowances to university workers.


When contacted on Saturday night, ASUU president told one of our correspondents that government had not met all the demands.

Osodeke said the union would meet on Sunday to take a decision on the issue. As of the time of sending this report, the union was still meeting.

“The deadline will elapse by Sunday. They only met one out of our requests which is the NEEDS assessment; the revitalisation funds of N30bn but they paid only N20bn to the universities. The other requests have not been fulfilled  even the ones they promised. Our officers are meeting tomorrow, we will let you know our decision by tomorrow (Sunday),” he said on Saturday.

When contacted at 8:30pm on Sunday, ASUU president said the union was still  meeting. “We haven’t taken a final decision yet. We have to consult all our branches and zones. The national cannot just sit down and call for action. The government didn’t implement what they promised us,” he said

But Nwajiuba said the ministry of education had written its finance counterpart on the payment, adding that the Minister of Finance had acknowledged the receipt of the letter.

He said, “We have sent a letter to the ministry of finance and in the letter we did a breakdown of each university and the individuals to be paid. We do not pay unions. What we will do is to pay each university. We have done the breakdown.

“I spoke to the minister of finance yesterday and she said she got the letter and her ministry would work with the breakdown that we gave them. The payment will be paid as soon as due process is concluded by the ministry of finance. But it should be noted that the money will not be paid to the union as a whole but it would be paid to each university.”

Source: Punch Newspaper

Zamfara trains 5,000 women, youths in modern fish farming

Zamfara State has trained 5,000 women and youths in modern fish farming under Gov. Bello Matawalle’s Youths Farmers Empowerment Scheme.

The latest set of trainees was given fish farming equipment worth millions of Naira in Gusau on Sunday.

The training was organised and sponsored by the Commissioner for Finance, Sufiyanu Yuguda.

The Head of Service, Kabiru-Muhammad Gayari, who represented the governor at the distribution of equipment, urged the trainees to use the training given to them judiciously.

He said the training was one government’s numerous empowerment schemes designed to eradicate unemployment and idleness among youths and to reduce their over-dependence on government.

“It is our hope that the participants will use both skills and equipment given to them to become self-reliant and establish their own businesses,’’ Gayari said.

The Emir of Gusau, Alhaji Ibrahim Bello, who was present at the occasion, commended the finance commissioner for sponsoring the programme.

He urged other political office holders to emulate Yuguda to reduce unemployment and poverty in the state.

Special Adviser to Gov. Matawalle on political matters, Ibrahim Ma’aji, who represented the All Progressives Congress (APC) chairman in Zamfara, Alhaji Tukur Danfulani described Gov. Matawalle’s administration as youths and women oriented.

He said the APC is proud of government in the state considering various development programme initiated for the masses.

Earlier, Yuguda said he dedicated the project to Matawalle.

“This is one of the laudable blueprints of Matawalle-led administration in the state to help to promote income-generation by the poor and the vulnerable.

“We will continue to do more to ensure that the dividends of democracy got to the common man.

“After this training, there will be a follow-up to access the sustainability of the project for us to register another set of the beneficiaries,’’ Yuguda said.

Aliyu Umar and Umaima Ibrahim who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries commended Gov. Matawalle and Yuguda for giving them the opportunity to improve on their lives.

Source: Vanguard News