Indication has emerged that there is no end in sight to the ongoing face-off between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government.
Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige told journalists on Wednesday that certain unions within the ivory towers have since kicked against the proposed University Transparency Account System (UTAS) presented by the lecturers.
The former Anambra state governor who spoke with newsmen shortly after budget defence by his Ministry at the National Assembly listed the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academics Staff Union Universities (NASU)among unions that might complicate the crisis.
Ngige who maintained that it was proper to harmonise the payment platform in the Nigerian Universities disclosed that his Ministry has since sent the UTAS to National Information Technology Development Agency, for assessment.
He said:” We have sent their system to NITDA for assessment, they have to come back from strike to know what we can do in the interim.
” They have to come to hear that there are other systems in the University that they have their own system of payment and they are not going to go with UTAS.
“We have other associations in the Universities which are Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academics Staff o Union Universities (NASU), National Association of Technologists in Universities, ASUU is not the only Union in the Universities.
“If we ignore them and what they are saying even if ASUU comes back, they will close the lecture halls and the laboratories.
“We don’t want that to happen that is why we are taking measure to carry everybody along.”
Ngige accused the ASUU of observing the Labour Law in the breach by not returning to classrooms.
They will not have any other option than to return to work. The ILO principle on strike has some limitations.
“First and foremost, I have apprehended that strike, by Labour Law, section 18 of trade dispute 2004, they know what am saying.”