ASUU members were paid pro-rata, not half salaries — FG

Chris Ngige

The Federal Government has debunked reports it paid members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) half of their salaries in October.

Spokesman of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment Olajide Oshundun said in a statement on Saturday that such reports were misleading.

He noted that members of ASUU were paid their October salaries pro-rata, and not half salaries as the media widely reported.

According to him, pro-rata was done because lecturers cannot be paid for work not done.

Oshundun also said that the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, never directed the accountant general of the federation to pay the university lecturers half salaries.

“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 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 said.

Oshundun added that counting from the day they suspended their 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 the chairperson of ASUU, Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS) branch, Muhammad Al-Mustapha, that Ngige was bias 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.

“This is 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 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 ‘No Work, No Pay’ rule,“ Oshundun said.

According to him, to set the records straight, the medical lecturers who are being referred to by the chairperson of ASUU UDUS branch, abstained from the eight-month strike of ASUU.