The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities has requested additional information from the Federal Government regarding the disbursement of withheld salaries to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who engaged in an eight-month strike in 2022.
The union has expressed concerns that the statement issued by the Presidency primarily focuses on ASUU, without addressing other university-based unions.
In 2022, major university-based unions, including ASUU, SSANU (Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities), and NASU (Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities), initiated strikes.
While the strikes by SSANU and NASU lasted a little over four months, the ASUU strike extended to eight months.
During the strike, the former President, Muhammadu Buhari, implemented a “no work, no pay” policy.
However, the current administration, led by President Bola Tinubu, has partially waived the “no work, no pay” rule, resulting in the release of four months’ worth of the eight months’ salary arrears owed to the lecturers.
The waiver was presented as part of ongoing efforts to alleviate challenges associated with economic reforms in the country.
Mohammed Ibrahim, the National President of SSANU, has stated that further clarification is needed on the matter.
While the headlines focus on ASUU, the university-based unions believe that the government should ensure fair treatment for all.
ASUU has also confirmed that it will respond appropriately to the partial waiver issued by the Tinubu administration concerning the eight months’ salary arrears.
Prof Gbolahan Bolarin, Chairman of the union’s Federal University of Technology, Minna branch, emphasized that their national body will issue a suitable response.
Mohammed Ibrahim has called for collaboration between Nigerian Embassies and the government in various countries to prevent scholars sponsored abroad by the Federal Government from absconding after completing their programs.
This follows reports that some scholars sponsored through the Tertiary Education Fund have gone missing upon completing their studies abroad.
Ibrahim has suggested that embassies should work together with host governments to ensure that absconding scholars are denied job opportunities.
He believes that anyone who absconds after graduation should face consequences. He has recommended a review of the laws governing scholarship beneficiaries to include guarantors capable of covering any outstanding debts.