ASUU blasts Ngige over comment on Coronavirus hibernation

ASUU blasts Ngige over comment on Coronavirus hibernation

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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has come under attack for accusing lecturers in Nigerian Universities of bequitting indoor games as their legacy during Covid-19 while their contemporaries elsewhere are in the laboratories in search for cure and vaccine for the pandemic.

The respected Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) University of Benin branch expressed their resentment on Tuesday in a press statement titled “Re: Unscrupulous officiously and brazen violation of the laws of the land by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation” signed by its Chairman, Monday Joy Omoregie and the secretary, Dr. Fabian Chukwugozie Amaechina, made available to journalists in Benin.

MINISTER OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT, CHRIS NGIGE, PRESIDENT OF ASUU, PROFESSOR BIODUN OGUNYEMI

The body described the recent unwarranted comment by the Minister as immoral and despicable , recalling the breakthrough and contributions of by the various branches of the Union in the wake of Covid-19.

It stressed that the willingness and preparedness of members of the union to conduct researches for the discovery of drugs and medical equipment have also been demonstrated by the production of automated hand-washing machines and respirators at the University of Benin, University of Lagos, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Jos and among others.

“It is important to briefly comment on the statement of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, to the effect that “it is immoral and despicable for those who should be conducting research as Nigerians for the discovery of new drugs and medical equipment that will be used during COVID 19 period to say that they are at home playing Ludo and draft and other games.

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“We acknowledge that one of the cardinal duties of members of ASUU is research, the others are teaching and community service.

The Union said the general public is aware of the contributions made by various branches of the union in the effort to combat the Coronavirus pandemic and curtail its spread across the nation.

It also faulted the claim by the Office of the Accountant-General (OAGF) of the Federation that ASUU as a body wants to evade tax through the IPPIS.

According to ASUU, “The reckless resort to blackmail and deliberate misinformation (in stating that the unions in the tertiary institutions have requested to “formalize tax evasion through IPPIS” and the further claim that their request is an “unpatriotic request to violate extant laws on tax”) by the OAGF is most unethical and irresponsible of an office from which Nigerians expect the highest sense of decency, probity and sincerity”.

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