Reps to intervene in FG, ASUU disagreement over withheld salaries

The House of Representatives has resolved to intervene in the lingering disagreement between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over unpaid eight months’ salary.

The resolution was a sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Paul Nnamchi (LP-Enugu State) and co-sponsored by Aminu Jaji (APC-Zamfara State), Julius Ihonvbere (APC-Edo) and Lilian Orogbu (LP-Anambra) at plenary on Thursday.

Moving the motion, Mr Nnamchi said that university lecturers played a crucial role in the education system by providing knowledge, guidance, and mentorship to future leaders.

He said that ensuring a stable and motivated academic workforce was critical to educational institution development.

The lawmaker said that ASUU, a recognised body of academic professionals in Nigeria, was committed to the advancement of education and research within the university.

He recalled that in 2022, ASUU members went on an eight-month strike due to the federal government’s failure to honour past agreements with the union.

Mr Nnamchi said that strike actions, aimed at addressing systemic issues, had unintentionally led to financial consequences for dedicated lecturers who participated in the strike.

“ Section 17 of the Constitution provides that the state social order is founded on ideals of freedom, equality and justice and in furtherance of the social order, government actions shall be humane.

“Disturbed that federal university lecturers are facing financial hardships and distress due to eight months’ salary owed as a result of the ASUU strike, with adverse consequences on students’ educational experiences and overall well-being.

“Worried that the unpaid salaries can negatively affect lecturers’ morale, job satisfaction, and teaching effectiveness, thereby affecting the quality of education provided to students.

“The educational success and prospects of students are intricately linked to the financial security and dedication of teachers.

“Resolving this issue is crucial for the stability and excellence of universities, the welfare of educators, and the nation’s economy,” he said.

In his ruling, the Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas, mandated Committees on University Education, Finance, Appropriations, Labour and Productivity, and Legislative Compliance to interface with ASUU and the Federal Government.

He charged the committee to resolve the eight months outstanding salary of lecturers following the ‘no work no pay’ policy and report back within two weeks for further legislative actions.

President Bola Tinubu had announced the waiver of the no-work-no-pay policy to release the lecturers’ withheld salary, but disagreement over the issue has lingered.

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