Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education, has stated that the federal government lacks the means to meet all of the requests of the Academic Staff Union of Universities at the same time.
In response to the union’s assertions that the federal government is blackmailing them, the Minister told Punch that it can’t be blackmail because they’ve tried to explain to them that they’ll keep the agreements they signed as soon as the resources are available.
“We cannot possibly be blackmailing them; we tried to explain to them that we will fulfil the agreements when we have the resources. Agreements have been signed and they are meant to be fulfilled.
“But we do not have all the resources to meet all the demands at once. The thing is that we all are working together – ASUU and the Federal Government. The goal is to produce graduates, who will serve Nigeria, and to make sure that the academic calendar is running smoothly.
“So, the government will always pay its dues; you do not have to go on strike to drive home your points. They need to know that it is not the government versus ASUU. It is about doing what is right. Let us use the resources as they come. There are lots of sectors that need attention.
“All we are saying is that once there are resources, we will meet your needs; all you have to do is to keep the academic calendar running. So, please, where is the blackmail?”