The National Executive Council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is planning to meet soon to discuss the withheld eight-month salary arrears of their members by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, confirmed the development to the PUNCH on Saturday, February 4, 2023.
He, however, explained that the date for the meeting has not been decided by the National Executive Council of the union.
“We (NEC) had met before now and reached resolutions but will meet again to decide on the next step to take, and when we do so, we will let the public know.
“But what I can assure you is that we will meet very soon, and take a decision on this issue of withheld salaries. The FG must pay up these debts. It is our right.
“We have given the government some time to see if there will be any improvement, but they have done nothing. We are collating reports from our members and will take action,” he said.
While lamenting the situation, he said lecturers in Nigerian universities were going through hard times.
“Our members are passing through difficult times while they are doing the same work the FG said they did not do and were not going to be paid for.
“We are doing all these in the interest of the country but this will not be forever. We will certainly meet very soon and take a proper decision at that meeting,” he added.
He said there was no headway on the discussions between the lecturers and the Federal Government, noting that the legal battle between them would continue in February.
Also speaking on the withheld salaries of lecturers, the ASUU Chairman, University of Lagos branch, Dr Dele Ashiru, said he was shocked that the Federal Government had yet to shift ground on the matter.
He also noted that the morale of lecturers at his university had become “very low.”
He said, “As I speak to you now, nothing has changed. Unfortunately, the Federal Government is still adamant. The morale of our members has become so low.
“If the people with the responsibility to develop human capacity for Nigeria, Africa and the world are treated this way, it then shows the premium that those who are governing us place on education.
“It is also not to worry because they cannot give what they don’t have. If we have leaders who are anti-intellectual, they cannot have respect for intellectualism nor honour those who engage in that trade. What is certain is that ASUU will continue to struggle until all monies owed its members are paid.”