Federal government of Nigeria has said it will not pay striking lecturers of public universities for the six months they stayed away from the classrooms.
The FG also asked students who are stranded at home to sue the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for the damages they incurred while the strike lasted.
Education minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu, spoke on the stalemated negotiations for the first time on Thursday, at a ministerial briefing in the presidential villa, Abuja.
The minister said that all the contentious issues in federal government’s negotiations with ASUU have been settled, except the invocation of the “no work, no pay” policy.
According to him, President Buhari had flatly rejected demands of ASUU to be paid for the six months that lecturers had been on strike so as to curb the excesses of trade unions, whose members want to be paid for period they were on strike.
Adamu also revealed that the ASUU’s proposed salary payment platform and the university transparency accountability system has been accepted after outscoring the IPPIS in recently conducted tests on the platforms.
The minister also explained that over 6 trillion naira spent by the federal government on tertiary education, including 2.5 trillion naira by TETFund in the past six years, far exceeded the 1.2 trillion naira stipulated in the 2009 agreement.
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has rejected the salaries awarded by federal government to lecturers in federal universities.
The union described the awarded salaries, which it claimed was based on the consolidated university academic salary structure, prepared by the national salaries, incomes and wages commission as miserable.
ASUU president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, responding to the position of education minister on Thursday, insisted on the implementation of a special salary scale for university lecturers.
ASUU asked the federal government to return to the new draft agreement of the 2009 federal government/ASUU renegotiation committee.
The committee headed by Professor Nimi Briggs had recommended between 105% to 185% hike in the salary of university lecturers.
In a related development, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has pleaded with the striking lecturers to be considerate in their stalemated negotiations with the federal government.
The apex student body urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to place the interests of the students stranded at their various homes above other interests.
NANS in a statement accused the lecturers of being unpatriotic and self-serving for holding the nation to ransom with their rigid position.
The students body also said it is consulting on the advise of the education minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu, that students should initiate a legal action against ASUU to claim damages for the more than six months old strike.
NANS however said instead of suing the ASUU which is an employee, it will initiate the legal action against the federal government which owns the universities for the quantifiable losses incurred by students since February 14.
According to NANS, the losses include rents being paid on private hostel accommodation, losses from research works, foreign admissions, and extra year in universities resulting into missed National Youth Service Corps(NYSC).
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