The Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige has assured Nigerians that there will be no strike action by lecturers following a three-week ultimatum given to the federal government by the Academic Staff Union Of Universities, ASUU.
The union had claimed on Monday, November 15 that the government have failed to fulfill its demands.
These promises by the federal government were instrumental in the suspension of the union’s ten-months strike action last December.
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However, speaking in an interview with the Channels Television, Ngige said “The strike will not happen. For one, I know that the funds to pay are there and the ministry of education has assured me that by tomorrow, they will emanate letters to make sure that the disbursement reaches the accounts of the various universities”
“We are not paying the unions directly, so it will get to the universities’ accounts”, he added.
Commenting on the standard of education in the country, Ngige also said: “The state of education here is not anything for anyone to cheer about. The standard has fallen. I agree, but education can’t be funded by the government alone.
“I know that because I schooled here in Nigeria. I did my primary education here, secondary school education here, university here in Nsukka, Enugu.
“I did my postgraduate outside the country but I can tell you very simply that in other climes, education is not only done by the government.
“In my university days, we had people who were on what they called indigent loans. If your parents can’t pay school fees, then you are called an indigent student and you get a loan —repayable loan from the loan board.
“Then you have those who are on bursary — 50-50. You also pay back something. You have people who are on scholarship.
“I enjoyed the federal government scholarship and I left it to go into my east central state scholarship which was bigger in quantum of money and was even paying for books for us.
“So, you could then see that we didn’t leave education only for the government. People were paying and they were paying a fee you can call appropriate fee at that time”, he concluded.