BY Ebunoluwa Olafusi
The federal government says members of the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria (ASUU) were paid based on the number of days they worked in October.
TheCable had reported the confusion that arose on Thursday when some members of the union were not paid their full salary for October.
But speaking on the issue, the federal government dismissed the allegation of selective treatment and half salary payment to the union members.
Olajide Oshundun, head of press and public relations, federal ministry of labour and employment, said ASUU members were paid their October salary pro-rata and not half salary as reported.
According to him, pro-rata was done because the union could not be paid for work not done.
He also said Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, did not direct the accountant general of the federation to short-pay the university lecturers.
“Following the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which upheld the order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), asking ASUU to go back to work, the leadership of the union wrote to the Minister, informing him that they have suspended the strike,” he said in a statement.
“The Federal Ministry of Education wrote to Ngige in a similar vein and our labour inspectors in various states also confirmed that they have resumed work.
“So, the minister wrote to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, directing that their salaries should be restored.
“They were paid pro-rata according to the number of days they worked in October.”
He added that counting from the day the union suspended its industrial action, pro-rata was done because “you cannot pay them for work not done. Everybody’s hands are tied.”
Oshundun also dismissed a statement by Muhammad Al-Mustapha, chairperson of ASUU, Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS) branch, that Ngige was biased in the payment of salaries to selected professional members of the union.
“Those obviously being referred to by the UDUS ASUU chairperson are members of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association (MDCAN) who abstained from the eight-month strike of ASUU,” he said.
“This is because they abhorred the incessant strikes by the union and its grave effects on medical education in Nigeria and the production of more medical doctors.
“Accusing the Minister of Labour and Employment of biased payment of salaries to selected professional members of ASUU is a barefaced distortion of facts.
“Mustapha said he received information that a segment of the staff in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) has been paid seven months of their withheld salaries from March to September.
“He added that this was due to a letter written to the Minister of Finance, instructing the exemption of the listed staff on the application of the ‘No Work, No Pay’ rule.”
According to him, the medical lecturers abstained from the eight-month strike.