The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has appealed to the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to remain calm in view of their latest outcry over the reported half salary payment by the Federal Government.
The Speaker in a statement he personally signed on Monday noted that efforts to find lasting solution to the concerns frequently raised by ASUU were on.
He, however, assured that President Muhammadu Buhari has indicated interest to wade into the latest concerns raised by the union.
“When the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) called off their industrial action three weeks ago, it meant that academic activities could resume in our nation’s public universities, and students could return to their academic pursuits after the prolonged interruption. This decision was rightly heralded nationwide as the correct decision.
“Since then, the Executive and the House of Representatives have worked to address the issues that led to the strike. We are currently working on the 2023 Appropriations Bill, which includes N170 billion to provide a level of increment in the welfare package of university lecturers. The Bill also includes additional N300 billion revitalisation funds to improve the infrastructure and operations of federal universities.
Gbajabiamila noted that the position taken by the Federal Government that it was not obligated to pay salaries to lecturers for the time spent on strike, was premised on the law and the government’s legitimate interest in preventing moral hazard and discouraging disruptive industrial actions.