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No agreement yet with ASUU, says FG

The federal government has said there is no Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between it and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) awaiting the signature…

The federal government has said there is no Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between it and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) awaiting the signature of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said this in a statement by the Deputy Director Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Olajide Oshundun, on Wednesday.

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“What is in existence is a proposal. Even when such a CBA is made, it is not the president who signs it. From available records, no Nigerian president or sovereign signs such,” the statement said.  

The minister accused ASUU of fixing its salaries and allowances through the Nimi Briggs Committee to the exclusion of the statutory government ministries and agencies and the Office of the Head of Service in charge of ensuring that public service rules and regulations are not undermined in any condition of service offered to public officers in the universities.

He explained that Prof. Briggs’s committee proposal of a 109 -185 per cent increase in the university wage structure would cost the federal government N560bn as salaries alone in addition to the current N412bn.

He added that N1.12tn would be needed to pay the salaries and allowances of university lecturers and other staff in the university system.

Ngige said the clarification became necessary in view of deliberate misinformation being dished out to Nigerians by the President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, and branch leaders, calling on the president to sign an agreement that they claimed to have reached with the federal government.

ASUU president had in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja said, “I do not understand why Mr President said that ‘enough is enough’ when we are not the one delaying the students at home.

“The federal government had sent its team to negotiate with us and we have finished. Instead of coming back to us to tell us the outcome of the meeting, we are hearing this.

“If you set up a committee to negotiate on your behalf, and the committee has finished and they have brought the information to you to sign, and then you said enough is enough, what does this mean,’’ he asked.