The Federal Government of Nigeria has directed vice-chancellors of striking public universities across the country to enforce “no-work-no-pay” rule on the striking lecturers.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered on Friday that the directive to implement the “no work, no pay” policy was communicated to the universities in a memo sent by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) to university vice-chancellors.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had on November 4 declared indefinite, nationwide strike over non-implementation of previous agreements by the federal government and demand for increased university funding.
At least two meetings have been held between the lecturers and the government since the strike commenced. However, both parties are yet to reach an agreement.
In the memo signed by NUC Director of Research, Information and Technology S.B Ramon-Yusuf, the university regulator stated that payment of salaries from any other sources but government funding will be viewed as violation of extant rules and government directive.
The memo reads, “In view of the current Industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), 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 centers.
“Consequently, I am to direct Vice-Chancellors to apply the “No-work-no-pay” rule. However, Universities and inter-varsity centers 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 a reaction to the memo, the Chairman of University of Ibadan chapter of ASUU, Deji Omole, described the federal government as shameless for owing lecturers seven years of unpaid, earned academic allowances. He said despite the debt, the government still wants lecturers to continue to work while the presidency and the National Assembly ‘feed fat’ on the wealth of the nation.
Mr Omole in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES Friday evening said it is sad that a government that prides itself as having integrity has shown it lacks integrity by failing to honour agreements reached with the union. He said the government has resulted to harassment and intimidation of ASUU members on a patriotic struggle to save public education in Nigeria.
He said the “no work, no pay” directive will not deter the lecturers.
“We have passed this road before. It is a familiar terrain which we can navigate with our eyes closed.
“We shall triumph any attempt to destroy the common patrimony. The power of the people is stronger than the people in power, ” the lecturer said.