…optimistic ASUU will call off strike with approved new package

By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor

Abuja: The Federal Government on Tuesday chided those opposed to the planned nationwide security operation by the military ahead of next month’s presidential election, describing the antagonists as enemies of Nigeria.

Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made the declaration at a media briefing in Abuja, said only criminals were afraid of the security operations known as ‘Operation Python Dance’.

“If you’re not a criminal no need to worry about the military operations because if there is insecurity the same people complaining would also blame the government of not doing enough to protect lives and property,” Mohammed said.

Mohammed also expressed optimism that the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities would soon be called off with the decision by the federal government to implement most of the contentious issues.

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The minister announced that among the measures already taken by the federal government to end the strike included the release of the sum of N15.389 billion, which represents the shortfall in payment to universities.

He said even though ASUU asked for payment for 10 Universities, the FG had decided to pay for 20 Universities.

The minister also said that the offer was made in good faith to pay N20 billion in 2019 while it was making effort to pay the one for last year after the conclusion of modalities by the implementation committee.

He also announced that the federal government had established a special pension scheme known as Nigerian Universities Pension Company for the universities.

In addition, the minister disclosed that the Federal Government has also approved N20 billion to pay for earned arrears that accrued between 2009 and 2012 while the arrears for 2013 to 2018 were being collated and computed, after which it will be audited and verified by PICAD.

“Once done, payment will be made in four tranches,” Mohammed said.

More details later….

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