ASUU Leadership Unaware of President Tinubu’s Directive on Salary Arrears
In a surprising turn of events, the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU leadership has declared its lack of awareness regarding President Bola Tinubu’s directive to release four out of eight months of withheld salary arrears for its members. The statement was made by Prof. Christopher Piwuna, the National Vice President of ASUU, during an interview at the sidelines of a scholarship presentation event for university undergraduate students in Bauchi Zone.
We would recall that On August 29, 2022, the Academic Staff Union, following an arduous eight-month strike aimed at enhancing the well-being of its members, faced an unfavorable outcome in a court case initiated by the federal government. The ruling affirmed the “No Work, No Pay” policy, leading to the withholding of eight months’ worth of salaries by the Federal Government. Subsequently, the ASUU National Executive Council (NEC) decided to suspend the strike that commenced on February 14, 2022.
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In light of this resolution, all ASUU members received a directive to promptly resume all suspended services, effective from 12:01 on Friday, October 14, 2022.
On the 20th of October, 2023, VOTP News conveyed that President Tinubu had granted a partial exemption from the “No Work, No Pay” directive that was enforced on ASUU members throughout their eight-month strike, lasting from February 14, 2022, to October 17, 2022.
According to the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, the waiver permitted ASUU members to receive four months of salary accruals out of the eight months withheld during the strike. The statement titled ‘President Tinubu approves partial waiver of the no work, no pay order on ASUU members; orders release of four months of withheld salary’ emphasized that this directive came with a stipulation. President Tinubu mandated that the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour and Employment secure a Document of Understanding, affirming that this would be the final waiver granted to ASUU and other education sector unions.
Ngelale highlighted the President’s intention to alleviate challenges faced during the implementation of crucial economic reforms, coupled with an acknowledgment of the faithful implementation of agreed-upon terms between ASUU Leadership and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
However, in response to this purported approval of the four-month salary arrears, Prof. Christopher Piwuna expressed the union’s lack of awareness. He stated, “We are not aware that the government has awarded money to anybody. We are not aware. As a union, we are not aware of that.”
This contradiction raises questions about the communication channels between the government and ASUU Leadership, as well as the transparency of the process. The discrepancy between the President’s directive and ASUU’s claim of unawareness adds an unexpected layer of complexity to the situation.
VOTP News will continue to follow this story closely, seeking clarifications from both the government and ASUU to provide the public with accurate and up-to-date information on this critical matter. Stay tuned for further developments in this exclusive report.