The Federal Government has been given a 14-day ultimatum by the National Association of Academic Technologists in Nigerian universities over the disparity in allocation of the N40 billion earned allowance.
The President of the union, Ibeji Nwokoma, who spoke with newsmen on Sunday, said their position had been passed on to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
There has been argument over the sharing of the N40 billion approved by the government during negotiations with the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
ASUU had told other unions that they should go on to negotiate with the Federal Government for their own funds.
It argued that since lecturers went without salaries for nine months to achieve their desire, others should be ready to make their own sacrifices too.
But Nwokoma said: “We have written to the government that NAAT as a body ought to have been given a specified percentage of the N40 billion.
“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.”
Nwokoma said in the Memorandum of Understanding with the government on November 18, 2020 in item Number 2b, the union demanded that in the sharing of the N40 billion released, government should clearly define what is going to be allocated to each union.
He said government agreed with the genuineness of their demands, adding that the National Universities Commission and the Federal Ministry of Education will work it out in conjunction with the union.
NAAT is also demanding the release of 50 per cent of the N71 billion accrued allowance being owed its members from the 2009 agreement reached between the government and the union.
Nwokoma said the outstanding allowance had been paid till 2012, adding that the government also ought to have negotiated with NAAT on the payment of the balance.
He said: “What they have done negates completely the spirit of that MoU.
“We have given government ultimatum of 14 days.
“We wrote to the government on December 30.
“We have given government 14 working days and if at the end of the 14 working days our demands are not met, we resume our suspended strike.
“Definitely, we will close down the schools.
“If anybody thinks that ASUU has called off the strike and that schools will reopen, then let the person dare us.
“Let us know how effective or how possible it is for schools to reopen when technologists are on strike.
“If government on its own has said ASUU should take N30 billion from the N40 billion released, it is not the business of my union.
“But we have also told the government that the arrears accruable to my union since 2009 to 2020, they have paid up to 2012, is N71 billion and we have demanded 50 per cent of that amount and we have also given government ultimatum of 14 days if the government fails to do that, we will call out our members on strike.
“Nobody has a monopoly of closing or opening of Universities by strike.
“We have said that repeatedly.”
The N40 billion in dispute is expected to be shared by ASUU, NAAT, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions.
Both SSANU has also rejected the sharing formula and threatened to embark of an indefinite strike if the Federal Government continues to give the largest chunk of the money to ASUU at the expense of the three other non-teaching unions.