Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the House of Representative, has urged lecturers that the Government are doing what it can to resolve the issue of halved salary payments.
Recall that last week, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU called out the federal government for not paying their full salaries for the past month of October.
Amid this, the federal government threatened not to pay lecturers for the strike period. But a review of the decision was said to be under consideration.
However, Gbajabiamila, in a statement on Monday, November 11, had urged the lecturers affected to exercise patience as the Federal Government are working to fix the payment issue.
“When the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) called off their industrial action three weeks ago, it meant that academic activities could resume in our nation’s public universities, and students could return to their academic pursuits after the prolonged interruption,” the statement by Gbajabiamila reads.
“Since then, the Executive and the House of Representatives have worked to address the issues that led to the strike.
“We are currently working on the 2023 Appropriations Bill. Which includes one hundred and seventy billion naira to provide a level of increment in the welfare package of lecturers.
“The Bill also includes additional three hundred billion naira in revitalisation funds to improve infrastructure and operations of federal universities.
“Furthermore, the House of Representatives has convened the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other stakeholders to facilitate the Federal Republic of Nigeria adoption of elements of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
“The Executive position that it is not obligated to pay salaries to lecturers for the time spent on strike is premised on the law and the
government’s legitimate interest in preventing moral hazard and discouraging disruptive industrial actions.
“Nonetheless, interventions have been made to explore the possibility of partial payments to the lecturers. We look forward to a favourable consideration by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR who has manifested his desire to what is prudent and necessary to resolve all outstanding issues.”
Meanwhile, Femi Falana has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct ASUU members to be paid their full salaries.
Olajide Oshundun, head of press and public relations, federal ministry of labour and employment, had said ASUU members were paid their October salary pro-rata and not half salary as reported.
According to Oshundun, this was done because the union could not be paid for work not done.
Falana, who is also ASUU’s legal representative, said the position of the federal government is “factually faulty and legally misleading”.