The Federal Government has asked students affected by the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to take the union to court to claim possible damages incurred during the period of the strike.
The government said that it is not its responsibility to compensate students affected by the 6-month-old industrial action but that of ASUU.
This was made known by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, at the 47th Session of the State House Ministerial Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team on Thursday, August 18, 2022, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
What the Minister of Education is saying
Adamu at the briefing said that the federal government bears no liability to compensate millions of students grounded for 6 months over lost time, adding that if the students are determined to get compensated, they should take ASUU to court.
He said, “We are all hit by this strike action, perhaps because students have to spend an extra one year or two, you can say, they are worst hit. If you had the chance, or the capacity to measure the effect of that on the economy, the economy is also a victim, parents are also victims.
News continues after this ad
“It’s a loss for the nation. As far as I know, JAMB will administer examinations, students will use it to process admissions into universities, nothing has changed.
“Who do you assume will compensate students? The federal government? Probably you should take the leaders of strike unions to court to pay them, probably the court will award damages and then, we’ll see how they pay.”
News continues after this ad
Lecturers won’t be paid salaries for the 6-month striking period
The minister also at the briefing disclosed that the striking university lecturers would not have their salaries paid for the 6 months they have been on strike to serve as a deterrent to other government workers for such bad behaviour.
Adamu said that the federal government has refused to give in to the demand by the ASUU for their members to be paid the backlog of salaries withheld over the ongoing strike, saying it is meant to be the penalty for their needless action.
He said, “I think the stand that the government has taken now, not to pay no work done, I think that’s the only thing in the hand of the government to ensure that there’s penalty for some behaviour like this.
“I believe teachers will think twice before they join the strike if they know that at the end, they are not going to be paid.
“The government is not acting arbitrarily. There is a law and I believe this is going to be a strong element to deter many from going on strike.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics had earlier reported that the Tuesday, August 16, meeting between ASUU and the Federal Government ended in a deadlock as no agreement was reached between both parties thereby dashing the hope for an immediate resolution of this impasse.
- ASUU had been on total and comprehensive strike since February 14, 2022, to press home their unresolved demands on the federal government.
- Some of the lecturers’ demands include funding for the revitalisation of public universities, which amounts to N1.1 trillion, payment of earned academic allowances, and adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a preferred payment option, instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and payment of promotion arrears.
- The strike has been on for about 185 days, a development that had left many stakeholders including students, parents and others frustrated