Strike: More Trouble As FG Excludes State Universities From Pay Rise

1 week ago

Another confrontation between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities may ensue following the decision of the Federal Ministry of Education to exclude state universities from the recommended 180 per cent pay rise for lecturers.

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With the exclusion of states, ASUU may against confront the federal government over the decision which couild lead to another industrial action.

 

According to Punch, the spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, in an interview in Abuja on Wednesday, explained that the Federal Government could not dictate to states on education as it is on the concurrent legislative list.

 

A committee led by the Pro-Chancellor of the Federal University of Lokoja, Prof. Nimi Briggs, had reportedly recommended a 180 per cent pay rise for lecturers, but the government was said to have favoured a 100 per cent increase.

 

It was gathered that the ministries of finance, education, labour and employment, Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission were still working out the final details of the proposal.

The ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, insisted that any agreement reached with the Federal Government would be binding on the states, thus opening another battle front between the union and the government.

 

The PUNCH reports that members of ASUU, including federal and state universities, had embarked on a strike on February 14, 2022.

 

Following the inability of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige to resolve the strike, the President, major General Muhammdu Buhari (retd.), two weeks ago directed the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to take over the negotiation with the ASUU leadership.

 

To compel a quick resolution of the crisis, the Nigeria Labour Congress held nationwide protests on July 26 and 27 in solidarity with the union.

 

However, ASUU on Monday extended the industrial action by another four weeks.

 

Responding to a question from The PUNCH on whether the proposed agreement would be binding on all universities in the country, Goong said, “The agreement between the Federal Government is not binding on state universities. Education is on the concurrent list, the Federal Government cannot tell states what to do when it comes to the management of their institutions.


“Any agreement made with ASUU is only binding on the institutions owned by the Federal Government. The state government will handle their own institutions.”

 

 But reacting to the government’s position in an interview with The PUNCH on Wednesday, the ASUU president stated that the university system is a single entity, arguing further that there was no disparity between state and federal universities.

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