The Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) University of Jos (UNIJOS) Chapter has ordered its members to remain at home indefinitely, pending payment of withheld salaries by the federal government.
The ASUU branch announced this in a statement on Friday, November 4, 2022, which was signed by the branch chairman, Prof. Dr. Lazarus Maigoro.
Recall that on October 16, 2022, the union suspended its eight-month-old strike, which closed the country’s public universities, to demand the full implementation of the agreements it entered into with the federal government a few years ago.
But on Thursday, November 3, 2022, it was announced that the government paid only 18 working days to teachers in the month of October.
The ASUU chapter, clearly disadvantaged by the government’s actions, asked its members to stay at home until payment is settled.
The statement reads in part: “One of the points agreed upon at the meeting was that 50% of the eight month backlog of our salaries withheld will be paid immediately to our members, but at the time of writing this press release, only 17 days The pro rata October salary was paid to our members by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
“Having stayed for about nine months now, our members of the University of Jos took this as an insult to them by the Accountant Gereral of the Federation.
“Is the Accountant General of the Federation actually answerable to the Minister of Labour? So if today the Minister of Agriculture instructs the Accountant General of the Federation to withhold the salaries of the staff of the Agricultural Research Council,
Institutions that have been on strike for over a year, will he obey?
“We wonder why Ngige is so eager to withhold the salaries of ASUU members, because the staff of some Agricultural Research Institutes has been on strike for almost a year, but they get their salary regularly. Is this policy only for ASUU members?
“We are also aware that Labor and Employment Minister Chris Ngige has written a memo to the Accountant General asking him to pay our members only from the day we suspend the strike.
“Unfortunately, because of this special act, the Minister of Labor and Employment has made the work of university lecturers more flexible.
“This raises our doubts even more about whether the agreement reached with the House leadership on some of the issues will be implemented at all.
by those saddled with the responsibility to prevent further unnecessary strikes.
“From all indications, Labor and Employment Minister Chris Ngige has personalized the matter between him and our union and is on a mission for vendetta.
“It has now become crystal clear that he was not happy that the House of Representatives reached a truce on some of the issues we were on strike for, and that he has fallen behind to undermine it.
“It is now also very clear to us why he blatantly left the leadership of the House of Representatives at one of the stakeholder meetings much to the anger of all Nigerians as he never wanted any sort of resolution to be reached on the issues . is discussed and is the nation.
“Given Ngige’s bottleneck in paying our members the backlog of our salaries, the Congress of ASUU University of Jos met today November 4, 2022 and decided to stay at home although not on strike until the backlog of withheld salaries has been paid.
“To be clear, our members are back at work, willing and ready to work, but unable to work. Based on the revised academic calendar for
the 2020/2021 session approved by the Senate of the university, the lectures should have already started, but the challenge of the lack of payment of salaries has prevented our members from going to the classroom to teach.
“What this means is that the students who have already resumed will have to wait indefinitely while we wait for our withheld salaries to be paid to us.”