We have not received NAAT strike notice, says FG

The Federal Government said it had not received the strike notice issued by the National Association of Academic Technologists.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment explained that it was not aware of the strike threats by the union over alleged dissatisfaction with the sharing formula for the N40bn earned academic allowances meant for the four university unions.

The NAAT President, Ibeji Nwokoma, had disclosed that the union issued a 14-day strike notice to the FG through a letter dated December 30, 2020, and addressed to the minister.

He said the decision was hinged on the allocation of 75 per cent of the earned allowances to the Academic Staff Union of Universities by the FG.

Nwokoma said, “We have written to the government that NAAT as a body ought to have been given a specified percentage of the N40bn. You must define it; you can’t just say ASUU, 75 per cent, and others, 25 per cent. Let us know the specific percentage you are giving to NAAT as a union.

In the MoU we entered with the government on November 18, in item number 2b, we demanded that in sharing the N40bn released, the government should clearly define what is going to be allocated to each union and government agreed to the genuineness of our demands and said NUC (National Universities Commission) and the Federal Ministry of Education will work it out in conjunction with the union and what they had done negated completely the spirit of that MoU.”

But responding to The PUNCH’s inquiries on Monday, the spokesman for the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr Charles Akpan, said the Minister, Chris Ngige, had yet to receive the notice of strike from NAAT.

“We have not received any letter from NAAT; but when we get their letter, we will invite them for a conciliation meeting on the issue,” he stated.

A senior ministry official said the NAAT members should have directed their grievances to the Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission, noting that the labour ministry was not involved in the sharing of the earned allowances to the unions.

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