Some Nigerians have expressed their displeasure on how the federal government went about the payment of salaries of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) members after calling off its eight-month strike, while others think it is right.
The lecturers were paid in part salary for the month of October according to when each person reported to work, with some receiving 30 percent, and 40 percent, while others 50 percent in reflection to the number of days they reported to work.
Friday Erhabor, the director of media and strategy at Marklenez Limited frowned at the development, even as he blasted the federal government for not being serious with the education development in the country.
“The federal government is not serious. Did they pay Chris Ngige half the salary? Did they pay the minister of education half his salary? When universities were closed for six months, what work was the minister doing? ASUU should fight it to the end,” he said.
In the same vein, Bamidele Okuwoga, a legal practitioner expressed displeasure in the ways and manners the federal government has been handling the impasse with ASUU
“This is a palpable display of lack of good faith and commitment on the part of the government to resolve the issues. How many times do the lawmakers attend plenary? Still, they all get paid their full allowances and other emoluments,” he asked.
Okuwoga urged the federal government to wake up to its responsibility so that all the problems emanating from the strike action would be fully resolved.
Evi Itive, a parent and public servant expressed disgust over the ASUU and federal government impasse which has lasted for more than eight months and still no headway is insight.
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“Unfortunately I didn’t have faith in the leadership. I don’t have the courage to speak about a system that is not working. In the first place, a Nigerian opinion doesn’t matter in present-day Nigeria. The system is not reliable so discussions are just effort in futility,” he said.
Oluwatomisin Amokeoja, a postgraduate student believes the lecturers have no reason to complain because they were never promised full-scale salary before they called off the strike.
According to Amokeoja, ASUU called off the strike on the order of the Industrial Court and appeals from Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and other well-meaning Nigerians.
“While I hold no brief for the federal government, I don’t think it ever agreed to pay ASUU for months spent on strike. The federal government insisted on that on different occasions before ASUU complied with the court order to suspend the over 8-month strike.
“The federal government has also claimed the lecturers were paid pro-rata. Except the ASUU can counter the claim with a document showing the federal government agreed to sidestep the ‘no work, no pay’ rule to pay them for months away from active service then I see no issue here. They have no case if they can’t prove otherwise,” he argued.
Kenneth Morgan, a banker believes ASUU is miss-informed the public by claiming their salary was paid in part, and he admonished ASUU to engage the federal government in a meaningful discussion to resolve the differences.
“From what I know, they were not paid half salary. However, they were paid on a pro-rata basis, meaning they were paid from the date of resumption after they called off the strike.
“This is totally different from the claim that they were paid half their salary. The federal government insisted on ‘no work no pay’. ASUU should engage the minister of labour and finance ministry to harmonise their differences,” he noted.
However, ASUU has resolved not to embark on another strike action over the payment of half salaries to its members by the federal government after its national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Monday, November 7, 2022.
The lecturers decided to wait for the speaker of the House of Representatives’ intervention in its face-off with the government over the 2009 agreement.