ASUU strike to linger as FG says it can’t borrow N1.1trn to fund union demands

By our reporter| The end of the five-month-old strike embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities may not be in sight as the minister of state for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo, on Friday said it was unrealistic for the federal government to borrow money to resolve the strike.

Keyamo, who made the comment while speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme, urged parents across the country to beg ASUU to go back to work.

“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 blackmail 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.”

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“Like the President said the other time, those who know them, appeal to their sense of patriotism,” he said.

“Let them go back to classes. They are not the only one in Nigeria. They are not the only ones feeding from the federal purse. The nation cannot grind to a halt because we want to take care of the demands of ASUU.”

ASUU embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14.

The union extended the industrial action by another two months to allow the government meet all of its demands on March 14, while another 12-week extension was announced on May 9.

The union last week extended the strike action by another four weeks.

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The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.

 

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