Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba,the Minister of State for Education has urged members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to leave the teaching profession and take to farming,where workers are more needed in the country.
Nwajiuba said in the preparation for the reopening of school more modalities has been put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 and this include afternoon classes in order to prevent overcrowding.
“Some people may not believe what we are doing but we must continue to enforce that. We don’t care how you think it is inconvenient or convenient for your children to wear face mask. The rules need to be obeyed first. Or else we will deal with the defaulters.”he said.
Nwajiuba made this known as a guest in ARISE NEWS Channel in Abuja yesterday.
Speaking on the protracted strike by the ASUU,the minister recalled that the union did not embarked on the strike based on the pandemic,and he thinks the university lecturer might consider farming,insisting that more farmers are needed in the nation.
He also admitted that the federal government has shown commitment to their demands.
Nwajiuba noted that up till July 2020,all academic staff had been paid salaries.
“ASUU is within its rights as a Union to express itself. We didn’t start a strike with ASUU on the basis of COVID-19. ASUU was already planning a strike before COVID-19. Before FG orders the shut down of schools,ASUU gave an indefinite strike. Therefore,we are not any contention with ASUU.
” Government is actually not holding anyone at ransom. The only demand FG has made is to pay the ASUU through IPPIS. You can leave employment. You are free to opt out and say ‘i no longer want to teach’. There are several profession out there,you can choose any. What we actually need more in this country is farmers.
” You cannot keep throwing demands on your employer on how to pay you. You can’t tell him ‘ i will like to be paid through this mailbox’ or ‘i will like you to pay me through my pillow’. ASUU has a lot of dissipation and complaints around it. Don’t get me wrong,this is legitimate but it doesn’t mean you can force yourself on the man who has the money.”