The Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, has stated that the Federal Government does not have the funds to meet its obligations in the agreement signed with the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Ngige said the government was considering a renegotiation of the terms of the agreement with ASUU, in the effort to end the ongoing strike by university lecturers.
The minister made this known while appearing on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television monitored from Abuja on Thursday.
On revitalisation of the universities, Ngige said “the amount is not very clear, what has been paid.” He said the actual amount paid is being determined.
On the release of N1.3tn between 2013 and 2018 to revitalise the universities, with N200bn released in 2013 and only N70bn released in the last seven years, the minister, who noted that government is a continuum, stated that the N1.3tn was promised by the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration. According to him, oil was selling at between $100 and $120 per barrel then, while the revenue of the federation was rich.
“The government now says ‘we don’t have the money to pay it.’ This was the agreement between 2016 and 2017,” he said, adding that the government still does not have the funds to fulfil its side of the bargain.