By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, ABUJA
THE Federal Government has said it would no longer succumb to any form of blackmail and intimidation that will make it enter into agreement with unions that will be difficult to implement.
The government’s position is coming on the heels of the face-off between it and the four university based unions that culminated in a strike which has lingered for about six months.
Recall that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, had commenced a month warning strike on February 14, 2022, over the alleged inability of the federal government to attend to some of the concerns it raised and had continuously been rolling over the strike after its expiration.
The three non-teaching staff unions, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions, NASU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, also proceeded on strike a few weeks after ASUU downed tools.
Some of the contentious issues yet to be resolved between the federal government and the unions include the non-release of the revitalization fund, non-payment of earned allowance, and renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement, among others.
To resolve the impasse, the government set up the Professor Nimi Briggs Renegotiation Committee to interface with the four unions.
However, Vanguard was told that the Federal Government has vowed not to enter any agreement that would be unimplementable.
Multiple sources at the Ministry of Finance, National Income, Salaries and Wages Commission as well as the Accountant General Office of the Federation told Vanguard that the government wanted to be careful in order not to sign an agreement that will be difficult to implement.
One of the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The Federal Government will no longer be blackmailed to sign any agreement that will be unimplementable.
“Before we put pen on paper, all the necessary government advisory team, including the Ministry of Finance, the Budget Office, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the National Income, Salaries and Wages Commission, will sit together and take a decision that would not lead to another crisis.”