- It’s insulting, humiliating, embarrassing – ASUU
- I’ve failed as Education Minister – Adamu
The Point gathered on Thursday that the Federal Government only paid lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities for 18 working days in the month of October.
Lecturers and senior members of ASUU, who spoke under conditions of anonymity, noted that the government only paid half salaries.
ASUU had called off its eight-month-old strike on October 14, 2022, as lecturers were encouraged to resume back to work by the union on that same day.
A senior member of the National Executive Council, said, “We were only paid for the days after the strike. I received a half salary.
Other members are angry right now, they are blaming the NEC for calling off the strike.”
Another member, who confirmed the development, said, “Yes, it is true, I received half salary.
It seems the government is set to kill unionism in the country but we are ready for them.”
The national president of ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke, who confirmed the development, said, “Yes, it is true and we are honestly shocked”.
Similarly, the National Vice President of ASUU, Chris Piwuna, described the development as “insulting, humiliating and embarrassing.”
The union’s chapter at the University of Lagos also reportedly tweeted on Thursday evening condemning the development, even as it appealed to its members to remain calm.
The National Coordinator of Congress of University Academics, Niyi Sunmonu, also described the development as unfortunate but appealed to members that all the contradictions would be resolved.
The Federal Government has insisted on implementing the No Work, No Pay policy for the period the university workers were away from their duty posts.
ASUU, which commenced its nationwide strike on February 14, did not announce the suspension of the industrial action until the National Industrial Court ordered its suspension. The union announced its resumption on 14 October, exactly eight months after the commencement of the action.
The resumption was also fallout of the union’s loss of its appeal against the resumption order by the industrial court at the Court of Appeal.
But while announcing the resumption, Osodeke, noted that apart from heeding the directive of the court, the decision was also out of respect for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila who had reportedly intervened on behalf of the lecturers and pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to reach a middle ground with the striking lecturers over the withheld salaries.
ASUU, however, said its demands had not been satisfactorily met as of the time it was asking its members to return to work but expressed optimism that Gbajabiamila’s intervention would address the grey areas.
In a short statement on its Twitter page, the chairperson, UNILAG chapter of the union, Dele Ashiru, described the development as “insensitive and disheartening”.
He, however, appealed to the members to remain strong and united as they await further directives from the national secretariat.
“The leadership of the union at the national level has been duly informed about this unfortunate development and they are on top of the issue,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, after over seven years of serving as Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has regretted his inability to solve several of the challenges thrown at his office, lamenting that he failed as a minister.
Speaking at the 66th National Council on Education on Thursday in Abuja, Adamu, who noted he ought to have done better being the longest serving Minister of Education in Nigeria, also blamed the states’ Ministries of Education for playing a significant role in his failure.
According to him, during his tenure as Education Minister, the number of out-of-school children increased, there were repeated academic disruptions in tertiary institutions due to industrial disharmony, as well as many other challenges he could have addressed by providing solutions.
He said: “Most of our policies at the federal level pulled children out of the street back to the school, but evidently, the actions of the state governments are pushing the children back to the street.”