The Federal Government has told members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to leave the teaching profession and go into farming, if they are tired of lecturing.
ASUU, which has been on strike, is insisting on continuing with the industrial action even as the Federal Government has given the nod for reopening of all schools in the country.
Appearing as a guest on ARISE NEWS Channel in Abuja on Monday, Nwajiuba said the union has the right to make demands.
But insisting that up till July 2020, all academic staff had been paid salaries, he said, “ASUU is within its rights as a union of lecturers. We didn’t start a strike with ASUU on the basis of COVID-19.
“ASUU was already on strike way before COVID-19. Just before COVID-19 will shut down schools, they gave an indefinite strike. We are not in any contention with them.
“Government is actually not holding anyone to ransom. It says this is how I want to pay and it has to be through IPPIS. You can leave the employment. You can opt out of it and say ‘I no longer want to teach’. You can find other professions. What we need now are probably more farmers.
“You cannot keep forcing your employer and tell him, ‘I will like you to pay me my money through my pillow. Or, I will like you to pay it through this mailbox’. ASUU has a lot of complaints and dissipation around it. That is legitimate but doesn’t mean you should force yourself on the man who has the money.”
The minister also insisted that all schools must comply with the COVID-19 protocols.
He said, “Some people may not believe what we are doing but we must continue to enforce that. You must continue to abide by the protocol. You must provide them.
“We don’t really care about how much inconvenience or how convenient you think it is for your child to wear facemask.
“Obey the rules first. If we find out you’re not following those rules, we will have to deal with somebody.”