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Reps to intervene in ASUU-FG dispute over withheld salaries

Reps to intervene in ASUU-FG dispute over withheld salaries
October 27
13:32 2023

The house of representatives has resolved to intervene in the disagreement between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over withheld salaries.

Nigeria’s public universities have seen repeated disruptions in academic calendars over the years, with striking lecturers protesting funding deficits, poor conditions of service, and decay in infrastructure

ASUU embarked on its 16th strike in 23 years in 2022. The strike lasted for eight months.

The federal government insisted that the lecturers would not be paid for the period they were on strike in accordance with the “no work, no pay” order.

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On May 30, the industrial court upheld the government’s stance on the matter.

President Bola Tinubu conditionally approved the payment of half of the withheld salaries.

The house of reps has now resolved to intervene in the lingering dispute.

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The resolution, NAN reports, was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Paul Nnamchi (LP-Enugu state) and co-sponsored by Aminu Jaji (APC-Zamfara), Julius Ihonvbere (APC-Edo), and Lilian Orogbu (LP-Anambra) during plenary on Thursday.

COMMITTEES TO REPORT BACK WITHIN TWO WEEKS

Moving the motion, Nnamchi said university lecturers play a crucial role in the education system by providing knowledge, guidance, and mentorship to future leaders.

He added that ensuring a stable and motivated academic workforce is critical for educational development.

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The lawmaker recalled that in 2022, ASUU embarked on an eight-month strike due to the federal government’s failure to honour past agreements.

Nnamchi said strike actions aimed at addressing systemic issues have unintentionally resulted in financial consequences for dedicated lecturers.

“Section 17 of the constitution provides that the state social order is founded on ideals of freedom, equality and justice. In furtherance of the social order, government actions shall be humane,” the lawmaker said.

“The educational success and prospects of students are intricately linked to teachers’ financial security and dedication.

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“Resolving this issue is crucial for the stability and excellence of universities, the welfare of educators, and the nation’s economy.”

In his ruling, Tajudeen Abbas, the speaker of the house, mandated committees on university education, finance, appropriations, labour and productivity, and legislative compliance, to interface with ASUU and the federal government.

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He charged the committees to resolve the eight months outstanding salaries of lecturers following the “no work no pay” policy and report back within two weeks for further legislative action.

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