July 18, 2024

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has issued a stern warning to the Bola Tinubu administration, demanding the payment of withheld salaries for public university lecturers within two weeks or face potential industrial action.

ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke voiced his frustration over the government’s decision to release only four months’ worth of salaries out of the seven-and-a-half months withheld during the 2022 strike. Osodeke argued that this decision is unjust, especially given the lecturers’ sacrifices to compensate for the lost academic time during the strike.

In a recent appearance on Channels Television, Osodeke emphasized the relentless efforts of ASUU members, who have forgone vacations and worked tirelessly to make up for missed academic duties. He insisted that lecturers deserve full payment for the entire strike period.

READ ALSO: Strike looms in universities as unions issue 7-day ultimatum over unpaid salaries

Osodeke criticized the government’s spending priorities, pointing out the allocation of trillions for road contracts while neglecting university workers’ salaries. He warned that if the owed salaries are not paid, ASUU might adopt a “no pay, no work” stance.

Additionally, Osodeke highlighted the absence of functional Governing Councils in universities for the past 11 months, leading to illegal contracts and recruitments. He called for the reinstatement of the dissolved Governing Councils and an end to these practices.

ASUU’s demands extend beyond the payment of withheld salaries. The union seeks the conclusion of negotiations that began in 2017, the reinstatement of dissolved Governing Councils, and the payment of owed earned academic allowances.

Despite multiple attempts to engage with the government, ASUU has not had formal meetings with any government officials. This lack of communication has prompted the union to consider more decisive actions to address these ongoing issues.

The two-week ultimatum serves as a critical deadline for the Tinubu administration to address these grievances and avoid further disruption in the nation’s university system.

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