FG begins payment of ASUU’s withheld salaries

THE Federal Government has begun the payment of the withheld salaries of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The ASUU chairperson of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Muhammad AlMustapha, a Pure and Applied Chemistry professor, confirmed the development to The ICIR on Monday, February 19.

The ICIR reported how President Bola Tinubu in October 2023, waived the “No Work, No Pay Policy” of the Federal Government and approved the release of four of the eight months’ salaries of ASUU members withheld by the administration of the former President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.


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The salaries were withheld after the lecturers embarked on strike between February and October 2024 to compel the government to meet its demands.

Tinubu, in a statement released by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed that the waiver “will allow for the previously striking members of ASUU to receive four months of salary accruals out of the eight months of salary which was withheld during the eight-month industrial action undertaken by the union.”

The ASUU  chairman at UDUS in December 2023 lamented that the government had yet to pay them a dime from the withheld salaries.

“Nobody paid us a dime. And the evidence is there; we have done the work stopped during the strike. We have dealt with those sessions. Students have graduated, another set after that one has graduated, and we all forced ourselves without a holiday to ensure we fix those work.”

However, during the conversation with The ICIR on Monday regarding the payment, Almustapha said some members had begun to receive salaries for March and April 2023 while others were waiting for their turn.

He said, “Yes, its confirmed that some of our members have started receiving March and April 2023. Some are still waiting.”

The ICIR reports that ASUU often downed tools over unmet demands by the Federal Government, including a 2009 agreement with the lecturers, which the government failed to implement. 

Because of the incessant strikes, many students grow beyond the 30 years required by law for graduates to participate in the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Growing beyond this age disqualifies them from the programme.






     

     

    The union went on strike five times in five years under the immediate past Federal Government headed by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

    The group was on strike in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2022.

    Every strike declared by ASUU crippled Nigerian public universities as all academic activities were suspended, and students were sent home.

    In September 2022, The ICIR reported how the union had gone on strike for over 600 days under Buhari.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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