Owing to the conventional wisdom that government is insensitive to the plight of members of the Academic staff Union of Universities, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has reiterated the commitment of Federal Government to end the eight-month strike embarked on by members of the ASUU.
Ngige while speaking in an interview on Arise TV, described the notion as erroneous, and testified that government officials are also affected in the ongoing negotiations with the university lecturers because their also have children schooling in Nigeria.
He said, “I have three biological children in public schools. They are in public schools; they are not in private universities. Unlike ASUU members who have most of their children in private universities, three of mine are here. So, I am a very big stakeholder in the public tertiary school system.
“So, when ASUU says politicians don’t care because they have taken their children abroad, Chris Ngige cares because my children are not abroad even though they have dual nationality – two of them have American citizenship; they can be in America but I choose them to be here with me.
“So, ASUU cannot accuse me of not being nationalistic enough. Anything that will help the university system here, I am in the forefront.”
Ngige, however, expressed optimism that the lecturers will accept the new offer by the government. He urged ASUU to hasten consultations with its members so as to return to the negotiation table and conclude talks before Friday.374