The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has warned of the possible breakout of a fresh crisis in the university system if the federal government continues to withhold the salaries of its members in its ‘no work no pay’ policy.
The union has called on interested parties and well-meaning Nigerians to put pressure on the federal government to pay its members’ withheld 8-month salaries across the country.
The warning was given by ASUU chairman, University of Ilorin chapter, Professor Moyosore Ajao, at a special congress of the local branch held at the university’s main auditorium on Monday.
Ajao’s speech at the event was read by the secretary of the union, Dr. Abdul Ganiyu Olatunji.
The university lecturers had staged a solidarity rally within the university’s campus before returning to the auditorium, where they addressed newsmen on ‘Casualisation of Intellectual Workers in Nigeria: Prelude to Our Response.’
Ajao, in his speech said, “Members of the public are hereby sensitised and put on notice again that a fresh crisis, which will surpass all previous ones, is looming again in Nigerian universities as our members cannot and will not continue to do free work that will not be remunerated. We hope that with this notice, all relevant stakeholders, who have the ear of the government, will act fast before the fragile peace restored on our campuses nationwide collapses. “Our union and its members should not be held responsible for the consequences that its actions, in response to the crude wickedness of the Nigerian state, would have on all stakeholders.”
Several chapters of ASUU have in the past weeks protested the withholding of their salaries for the months they have been on strike and the payment of half salary for the month of October as the federal government insisted on its ‘no work no pay’ policy.
Some of the ASUU chapters that have protested are University of Lagos, University of Benin, University of Ibadan, University of Abuja, Usman Danfodiyo University, Federal University of Technology Akure.
The federal government, in defense of the pro-rata payment to ASUU members in October, said they cannot be paid for work not done, adding that the government was not biased in paying the university teachers.
ASUU had earlier in November, accused the federal government of attempting to turn university lecturers into casual workers with the payment of half salaries in October.
The union, which criticized the government for the payment of salaries of its members on a pro-rata basis for 18 days in October, said that the action is unprecedented in the university system.