Minister of labour, Dr. Chris Ngige has insisted that the federal government would not pay salaries of the lecturers of the Federal universities for the eight months they went on strike but that they would be only allowances for the “number of days that they worked in October” this year.
In a statement yesterday, November 5, by Olajide Oshundun, the labour ministry spokesperson, the minister said that lecturers were paid in pro-rata to the number of days that they worked in October, counting from the day that they suspended their industrial action. Pro-rata was done because you cannot pay them for work not done. Everybody’s hands are tied.”
Dr. Ngige said that claims by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) that he was bias for paying full salaries to selected members of the union was a “barefaced distortion of facts.”
He explained that members of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association were paid their full salaries because they did not participate in the strike.
“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.
“The Federal Ministry of Education wrote to him in a similar vein and our labour inspectors in various states also confirmed that they have resumed work,” Mr Oshundun said.
“So, the Minister wrote to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, directing that their salaries should be restored. They were paid in pro-rata to the number of days that they worked in October, counting from the day that they suspended their industrial action. Pro-rata was done because you cannot pay them for work not done. Everybody’s hands are tied.
“Those obviously being referred to by the UDUS ASUU chairperson were members of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association (MDCAN) who abstained from the eight-month strike of ASUU because they abhorred the incessant strikes by the union and its grave effects on medical education in Nigeria and production of more medical doctors
“Accusing the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, of biased payment of salaries to selected professional members of ASUU, is a barefaced distortion of facts.”
Oshundun added, “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, due to a letter written to the Minister of Finance, instructing the exemption of the under-listed staff on the application of ‘No Work, No Pay’ rule.
“To set the records straight, the medical lecturers who are being referred to by the Chairperson of the ASUU UDUS branch, abstained from the eight-month strike of ASUU. This has been corroborated in a press statement by the Chairman, MDCAN UdUS, Dr B. Jubrin and Secretary, Dr I. G Ango, on Friday, November 4, 2022.”
The chairman of ASUU, University of Jos (ASUU-UNIJOS), Lazarus Maigoro, said an indefinite sit at home order was given to its members pending the payment of their full salaries by the federal government.
“In view of the bottleneck placed by Ngige towards paying our members the backlog of our salaries, the congress of ASUU University of Jos met today November 4, 2022 and resolved to stay at home, though not on strike until the backlog of the withheld salaries are paid.”