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Nigeria Government Berates Striking Lecturers, Insists on ‘No Work, No-Pay’

 The deputy education minister expressed dismay over the more than the 200-day-old strike.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah Opiah, has slammed the Academic Staff Union Universities (ASUU) over the lingering impasse between the union and the federal government.
Opiah, while expressing dismay over the more than the 200-day-old strike embarked upon by ASUU since February 14, 2022, said the federal government has done its best to resolve the issues raised by ASUU.
He accused the union of being adamant to call off the strike.
The minister who spoke when he visited Federal University Lokoja (FUL), Kogi State, said the ‘no-work, no- pay’ policy stands.
He said: “The federal government cannot pay lecturers for what they did not work for. The strike has continued to portray the country in a bad light and has succeeded in causing more pains for parents and students.”
He said that the federal government has done so much on infrastructural development in all higher institutions across the country.
He charged the Vice chancellor of FUL, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi to appeal to lecturers to come back to work adding that their prolonged stay- at-home has done more harm than good to the future of Nigerian students.
He said: “The federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has done so much especially in infrastructural development in our tertiary institution. Because, anywhere you go, you will see the presence of TETFUND, buildings, vehicles and all manners of institutional assets.
“Those who think that lack of infrastructure is one of the reasons they went on strike should think again. Mr. Vice Chancellor, let me use this opportunity to appeal to you, to also appeal to our lecturers to come back to work because our children are suffering.
“Our country’s image is going lower. Our parents are not happy, and these lecturers are also parents to some of our students. Contrary to what they think, some of us also have our children in Nigerian universities and they are also suffering.
“Although, if we stay on strike forever, it means our children will be out of school forever. It is not in our own interest. There is nothing that has gone wrong that we cannot get corrected through dialogue. I know that, almost everything that ASUU brought forth for discussion between the federal government has been resolved.
“Except that, now that ASUU want to be paid for all the six months that they were absent from duty. And the federal government is saying no, we cannot pay for those days you did not work. For once, let us activate the principle of no work no pay which is natural. It is only a thief that goes to eat where he didn’t work.
“And so if there should be any appeal for the federal government to do otherwise, lecturers should come back to the class room to beg and appeal and renegotiate because this thing is no longer funny.”
Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja

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