STRIKE: IT’S A SCRATCH ON THE SURFACE – ASUU UNIPORT FAULT FG’S PROPOSAL
Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities in the University of Port Harcourt, Dr. Austen Sado has faulted the proposal of the Federal Government, expressing a lack of satisfaction on the offer made by the Government’s delegation.
Dr. Sado made this known in a live interview today, while speaking on negotiations made between the Federal Government and ASUU, with a view to ending the 8-month-old strike of the Union.
Describing the additional 5 billion Naira offer by the Government as paltry, he questioned the sufficiency of that amount in revitalising the University system.
“A country where you have over 90 public Universities, and they are to share about 30 billion, that probably will come to about maybe 500 million or less than that for each University.”
“If you were committing 500 million to buying of reagents, how much could you do with that? If we are going to think of transforming your library, how much is 500 million going to do in the library. I’m not sure you can do any reasonable hostel in the University with 500 million. It is a scratch on the surface,” He added.
Speaking on the deliberations expected to hold at various branches, he said, “We are not satisfied. But of course, it is a process of engagement. And so this process of engagement will continue this week. There will be congresses across the nation, where briefings will be take from the national officers and those recommendations or offers from the Government will be considered.”
The Uniport ASUU Chairman however said that the decision to end the industrial action will be decided by the various branches of the Union.
“Whatever the congresses decide will be aggregated and that becomes the decision of the union, and that will be also be given to Government for consideration.” he added.
Responding to the Labour Minister’s comment on no-work-no-pay policy as a reason why their salaries were withheld, the ASUU Chairman mentioned that even during the lockdown, workers were paid salaries. He accused the minister of blackmail, while clarifying that the agitations of ASUU has nothing to do with the personal interests of members of the union, but in the best interest of the University system.