The Federal Government of Nigeria said it rejected the four-year audit report of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) because the association snubbed a letter from the Ministry of Labour and Productivity asking for explanations on why the report was not submitted when due.
Recently, it was all over the news that the Federal Government failed to pay ASUU members their November 2022 check-off dues even though they have received their pro-rata salaries for the aforementioned month.
Amidst the controversies the development generated, the labour ministry confirmed that the Federal Government decided not to pay the check-off dues because the association didn’t make its audit report available to the ministry.
On the contrary, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) claimed that ASUU had tried to submit the report to the ministry but the ministry didn’t receive it.
In reaction to that, the spokesperson for the labour ministry, Olajide Oshundun, confirmed to Punch that the ministry didn’t receive the ASUU audit report because the association failed to explain why it didn’t submit it for four years.
He said, “ Yes, it is true the audited report was not received from them and that was because they didn’t respond to the ministry’s initial letter, asking them to state the reason they refused to submit the audited report for four years.
“The ministry’s letter is explicit on this; they refused to submit their report as and when due and we asked for explanations. The next thing they did was to quickly submit the report instead of replying to us in written form.
“And let it be clear that it was when the ministry wrote and threatened that their certificate of registration might be withdrawn that they rushed to submit it.
“What they were expected to have done was to respond to the letter first and plead with the ministry for late submission of the documents. Because if the ministry should take it from them just like that, other trade unions may follow suit and just do things at their own will. Meanwhile, there is a law guiding all of these processes.
“The ministry didn’t request again the documents but only wrote to get explanations for their failure to do the needful. I can also tell you the matter is already in court, so any further inquiry is sub judice.”