Fresh facts have emerged on why the Academic Staff Union of Universities rejected the proposal by the Federal Government. ASUU had tagged the offer by the Federal Government as “miserable”. However, the union did not go into some of the details in the proposal.
But the zonal coordinator, Port Harcourt zone, Stanley Ogoun, in a statement noted that the Federal Government noted that it would increase the salaries of professors by N60,000 while other lecturers would have their salaries increased within the range of N30,000 and N60,000.
Ogoun also noted that the government promised to release the revitalisation fund of N170 billion which would be included in the 2023 budget.
“Nigerians should be aware of offers the so-called minister came up with. These are: (a) 170 billion naira for revitalisation in the 2023 budget; (b) a promise to increase by N60,000 the salary of a professor at the bar in next year’s budget; (c) no statement on the amendment of the National University Commission Act gathering dust at the National Assembly (d) payment of two tranches of outstanding Earned Academic Allowance in next year’s budget; (d) a promise to adopt the University Transparency and Accountability Solution; and (e) another promise to release the white papers.”
Speaking further in the statement, Ogoun said, “Imagine the level of deceitfulness by the minister! A promise to fulfill demands in an election year? We did not embark on strike for over six months geared towards improving our public universities only to come back with mere promissory notes from a government that is notorious for reneging on agreements. I’m sure Nigerians would not forgive us.
“On the issue of withheld salaries, and the claim that we do not deserve the salaries. We challenge the government to prove if the unproductive staff of our moribund refineries and other agencies of similar nature are not being paid. They should also justify why unproductive politicians that are responsible for the current comatose state of Nigeria are receiving humongous salaries and allowances. For the avoidance of doubt, teaching is only one of the assignments we undertake as lecturers. It only earns a candidate, going for promotion, a maximum of one point per year. Research and community service are the core requirements for promotion.
“The current move by the Federal Government to jettison the principle of collective bargaining and reduce our Union’s objective and patriotic struggle to revamp and reposition public universities in Nigeria to mere award of miserly salaries, ranging from N30,000 to N60,000 is unacceptable to us.”
The union, however, called on the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu to resign.