Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, has disclosed that Nigeria is currently broke and may not be able to finance its capital projects in 2023 if it fails to reduce the cost of government and remove fuel subsidies, among other actions in Nigeria.
The labour minister revealed to the newsmen on (today)Friday, while addressing on the ongoing strike embarked upon by the university teachers.
He maintained that negotiations were ongoing between the ASUU union and ministry of education.
Chris Ngige, however, warned the varsity teaching staffs that negotiation without simultaneously doing in the process with the other striking university-based unions will delay the strike resolution.
According to him, “I can tell you that Nigeria is broke. There is no money to fund capital projects next year. As you can see, the dollar that has been hovering around N500 and N600 is now above N700. The truth is that there is no money anywhere. The money that the FAAC (Federation Account Allocation Committee) has been sharing is money from taxes, customs, and other revenue-generating agencies
“The National Nigerian Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) no longer remits money to FAAC. So, the situation calls for patriotism from all Nigerians. The lack of money to fund capital projects would have an implication on the capacity to create jobs. If jobs are not created, poverty will increase in the country.”
Chris Ngige added, “I have been Minister of Labour and Employment for seven years. Before, we negotiated with ASUU alone, which then suspended its strike. But NASU, SSANU and NAAT were on strike. The non-teaching unions locked the classrooms and lecture theatres.
They also shut down electricity and water supply to the universities, which almost led to outbreaks on those campuses.
“So, what I am saying is that negotiation with ASUU will not lead to the reopening of the universities. All of them must be involved in the negotiations.” He said