The Federal Government has provided an explanation for why it did not pay teachers their full salary as required by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment announced on Saturday that ASUU members had received a pro-rata payment of their October salaries.
The ministry claims that pro-rata was used since it is impossible to pay for work that has not been completed.
The statement went on to say that Chris Ngige, the honorable minister of labor and employment, never gave the Accountant General of the Federation instructions to pay university professors half wage.
Part of the statement is as follows: “Following the Court of Appeal decision upholding the National Industrial Court of Nigeria’s order requesting that ASUU return to work, the union leadership wrote to the Minister informing him that the strike has been suspended. Similar correspondence from the Federal Ministry of Education and confirmation that they are back to work from our labor inspectors across several states were sent to him.
“The Minister then requested that their pay be reinstated in a letter to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning. As of the day they concluded their industrial action, they were paid pro rata for the amount of days they worked in October. Because you can’t pay someone for labor that isn’t done, pro-rata was used. Everyone’s options are limited.
The ministry also criticized a statement made by Muhammad N. Al-Mustapha, the chairperson of ASUU’s Usman Danfodiyo University branch in Sokoto, in which he charged Chris Ngige, the honorable minister of labor and employment, with prejudice in the union’s professional members’ salary payments.
“Those clearly being referred to by the UDUS ASUU chairperson were members of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association who chose not to participate in the eight-month ASUU strike because they detested the union’s relentless strikes and their detrimental effects on medical education in Nigeria and the production of additional doctors of medicine.
The claim that Sen. Chris Ngige, the honorable minister of labor and employment, paid wages in a biased manner to certain ASUU professionals is a flagrant fabrication of the truth. Mustapha reported that he had learned that some members of the College of Health Sciences staff had received seven months’ worth of withheld pay from the months of March to September as a result of a letter sent to the minister of finance instructing the exemption of the under-listed staff from the “No Work, No Pay” rule.
To clear up any confusion, the medical lecturers to which the Chairperson of the ASUU UDUS section is referring did not participate in the eight-month ASUU strike. The Chairman of MDCAN UdUS, Dr. B. Jubrin, and Secretary, Dr. I. G. Ango, confirmed this in a press release on Friday, November 4, 2022.
In a news release, Dr. Jubrin stated, “Realizing the emergency situation in the sub-region made worse by growing public health dangers, the medical and dental lecturers in UDUS chose to continue the academic activities during the ASUU strike to prevent the complete collapse of our healthcare. In order to do this, the UDUS medical teachers consented to hold lectures and exams throughout the strike.
“In accordance with the Labour Act’s stipulations, we wrote and requested the Minister of Labour and Employment’s action to assure payment of our salaries. After carefully reviewing both our submission and that of the university administration, the Minister complied. This is not a case of favoritism, as the leadership of the ASUU, UDUS section claimed in a news release.
“As an organization, ASUU, UDUS chapter is obligated to safeguard the interests of all of its members and recognize the unique characteristics of medical education. The ASUU is entitled to defend its legal rights without infringing on those of other university employees. This response, we hope, will help put things in their correct perspective.