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The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said the allegations of N800 billion by the Minister of Labour and Employment were baseless and the union had not refused an invitation from the government for negotiation during its ongoing strike.
The ASUU National President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, stated these on Sunday in reply to an inquiry by our correspondent.
He said, “ASUU has never declined an invitation to a negotiation meeting with the government. What we asked government representatives to do was to send us their response to the last letter we sent to them.
“ASUU leadership has been holding Zoom meetings with its members. We need to be sure of what is coming from the government before accepting to attend any meeting. How can they claim to have invited us to a meeting without a clear agenda or any letter of invitation?
“On the N800 billion, this is pure mischief. We are thoroughly embarrassed that such reckless and baseless allegation could be credited to the Minister of Labour and Employment.
“In the first place, is ASUU responsible for the management of the payroll and personnel information in the universities? Secondly, how many of those responsible for the so-called “double payments” has the government apprehended, tried, and jailed to serve as deterrents?”
The union added that it did not regard Ngige as an “objective arbiter, and we are not surprised because he is part of the government.”