Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education, has stated that it makes no sense for members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities to continue earning wages while on strike.
ASUU began a one-month warning strike on February 14, 2022, and has not ceased its industrial action since.
“The professors have continued to receive wages while on strike; it doesn’t make sense to collect salary when you have refused to work,” Nwajiuba said in a phone interview on Sunday.
“If you refuse to even pay them, by the time they call off the strike, they will still come back to fight for the payment of the period they refused to work.
“You can air your grievances, come to the negotiation table without refusing to work. The issue of the strike has become a thing of concern. I have four children; two have graduated while the other two are still in public universities. I feel for them, I feel for other students who are at home. I feel the same way other parents feel, but can I bring money from my house and give it to ASUU?
“The Ministry of Education isn’t the employer of the lecturers, we are a supervisory body, and there is no way we can fire or hire someone. Universities have governing councils that supervise the activities that go on, our job as in the ministry is to supervise, we can’t meddle in.
“On the issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, I am also paid via the IPPIS, it is owned by the government, there is no way you can tell the government to throw away its platform and pay you with another platform.”
Meanwhile, the President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Mohammed Ibrahim, has accused the Federal Government of focusing on frivolous things and neglecting the education sector and the youths.
Speaking during the 2022 May Day celebration in Abuja on Sunday, Ibrahim said the universities were forced to shut down due to government insincerity, adding that the standard of education had continued to go down.
He stated, “Our universities have been forced to shut down due to the insincerity of the government to keep to its promises. The standard of education continues to go down due to the insensitivity of the government and the inability to provide a good teaching, learning and work environment through lack of basic facilities that will make them compete favourably with their peers in other parts of the world.