The Federal Government and workers’ unions in various sectors of the economy were literally at each other’s jugular, yesterday, over the five-month long strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, which has grounded the nation’s ivory towers.
Pointedly, the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, ANAP, and National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, NUBIFIE, have threatened to shut down airports, banks and financial institutions in solidarity with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, which has directed its members to embark on a nationwide protest on July 26 and 27 in solidarity with the university teachers’ industrial action.
On a day the National Universities Commission, NUC, lamented the effects of the strike on students, the economy as well as reputation of the nation’s universities, the students’ wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG,also urged its members in the 19 states of the North, who are affected by the ASUU strike, to join the protest action declared by NLC.
However, Presidency officials yesterday accused ASUU leaders of sustaining the on-going strike by blackmail, threat and feeding members with lies about the Federal Government’s efforts at resolving the industrial action that has entered the sixth month.Some Presidency officials told Vanguard that the Federal Government has implemented five of the seven issues in the Memorandum of Action, MoA, signed with leaders of ASUU in December 2020 and had paid not less than N92.27billion as Earned Academic Allowances, EAA, among others, to ASUU members before they embarked on strike.
“This is different from the N304 billion from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund TETFUND for 2021 and first quarter of 2022,” the Presidency officials added