By Rebecca Akinkanju
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has rechristened Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment as Minister of Dispute escalation and disinformation.
The Chairman, University of Ibadan Chapter of the Union, Professor Ayo Akinwole stated this in a release made available to newsmen in Ibadan on Tuesday.
ASUU stated that the posture of Ngige on the ongoing strike and his careless talks has exposed him as someone benefiting from the strike and lacking the leadership qualities to solve problem for his principal.
Ngige had stated in his country home that ASUU was on strike because of IPPIS and alleged that the Union was running away from negotiation table with a threat to drag ASUU to industrial Court.
While responding Professor Akinwole accused Ngige of disinforming Nigerians about the reasons for going on strike stating that ASUU is presently on strike because of the failure of the Buhari Government to honour the Memorandum of Action it signed with the Union on February 7, 2019.
Akinwole listed the reasons for ASUU strike to include, payment of revitalisation fund, payment of outstanding balance of the earned academic allowances, proliferation and non-funding of state Universities and the failure of the government to set up visitation panels to federal universities.
ASUU stated that Ngige should ask President Muhammadu Buhari to honour agreements signed with the Union and see if the union will not suspend the ongoing strike.
The ASUU leader noted that apart from Ngige’s unguarded utterances on the ongoing strike, comments of officials of government to issues affecting majority of Nigerians have been callous and wicked.
Akinwole said ASUU leadership has been holding meetings online via technology and will never run away from any meeting that has clearly set agenda for discussion.
“ASUU did not reject any invitation to attend meeting with government. As a matter of fact we have been asking government to let us conclude renegotiation since but people like Ngige seems to benefit more from dispute than when things are normal. Ngige should be educated that taxes are negotiated by each institution with their states and that is what they pay. It is not for federal government to fraudulently remove taxes of gross pay. Taxes are only deducted on basic but the IPPIS fraudulently deducted from gross of our members. Since February, no one has received the pay slip to even know what was deducted. This is fraud of the highest order. IPPIS has broken all existing laws. It is fraud to deduct money from people who have not indicated interest in the National Housing Scheme.”