Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, says he has three children in public universities affected by the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) strike.
The strike which is in its eighth month has led to the suspension of academic activities in public universities.
In an interview on ARISE TV on Sunday, Ngige refuted the claim that political leaders care less about the strike because their children are in schools abroad.
The minister said three of his children are in public universities in the country, but he did not mention the name of the institutions.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
During the 2017 ASUU strike, Ngige had said one of his children was in a public university in Nigeria.
“Students who are supposed to take their exams and promotional exams have been forced by circumstances beyond their control to stay at home,” he had said.
“I have one of my child at home as we speak. Government is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that we reach a conclusive agreement with ASUU so that they can go back to the class room.”
After months of negotiations, the federal government recently shifted its ground regarding enrolling members of ASUU on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).