Regarding the ongoing strike action imposed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Minister of Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, stated that the government cannot borrow money to pay the union.
This was recorded in a statement that the Minister gave on May 3rd in Abuja. Emeka Nwajiuba argues that ASUU members are working for the government and do not possess the basic rights to dictate how they should be paid. This follows the recent demands of the union to adopt the UTAS for their payments and not the previously adopted IPPIS system.
He said: “Government is the one who pays. Therefore, it is impractical and incongruous that somebody who is paid a salary continues to dictate for someone who pays him.”
The Minister, who is also a 2023 Presidential aspirant, explained that the Federal Government has limited resources and cannot borrow money to pay ASUU.
“The federal government’s funding is very limited and because of the additional challenges of security,it had to repeatedly borrow money to finance projects. This same borrowing is not available to build social infrastructure, it’s only available to build infrastructure that government can get return from, like railways.”
“To borrow and pay people is normally not what World Bank or other financial institutions borrow money for.”
Emeka Nwajiuba restates that the Federal Government is still not fully informed of the reasons why the union decided to embark on the ASUU strike. He clarifies that only federally owned universities are affected by this strike. All state and private-owned universities have no reason to join in this strike action.