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Strike: Bleak Christmas for university lecturers as FG orders stoppage of salaries

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The vice-chancellors of public universities and inter-varsity centres have been directed by the federal government not to pay the lecturers who are on strike their salary.

This was contained in a memo by the National Universities Commission signed by the Director, Research, Information and Technology, Dr S. B Ramon-Yusuf.

Ramon-Yusuf said payment of salaries from any other sources would be viewed as violation of extant rules and government’s directive.

The memo read: “In view of the current Industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Federal Government has directed that there shall be no payment of any form of salaries and allowances to the staff on strike in federal and inter-varsity centres.

“Consequently, I am to direct vice-chancellors to apply the “No-work-no-pay” rule. However, universities and inter-varsity centres are to pay salaries and allowances to non-teaching staff. All Vice-Chancellors and Directors of Centers should note that the salaries to staff on strike from whatever source of funds shall be viewed as violation of extant rules and directive of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

In reaction to the memo, Dr. Deji Omole, chairman of the University of Ibadan chapter of ASUU, said the government should honour agreements reached with the union instead of resulting to harassment and intimidation of union members.

He described the action as shameful, wondering how the federal government would expect lecturers to continue working while they are being owed seven years of unpaid salaries and allowances.

According to him, the directive by the federal government would fuel the struggle by ASUU. He added that the union members had resolved to get proper education for the children of average Nigerians and also fight for the future of the country.

The indefinite strike embarked upon by members of ASUU entered its second week on Monday, November 12.

A meeting between the Union and the federal government, aimed at finding a solution, ended in a deadlock on Thursday, November 15.

According to Professor Abiodun Ogunyemi, ASUU’s national president, the strike would continue and there were no plans to call it off.

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