By Adeniyi Onaara
The Academic Staff Union University has come under fire from the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah Opiah, due to the ongoing standoff between the union and the Federal Government.
Despite the Federal Government’s best efforts to address the concerns presented by ASUU, Opiah stated they have been determined about ending the strike, which has already lasted more than 200 days and started on February 14, 2022.
The “no work, no pay” policy is still in effect, according to the minister who stated when he visited Federal University in Lokoja, Kogi State.
The Federal Government cannot pay lecturers for labor that they did not perform, he declared.
The strike has succeeded in making parents and students’ lives more difficult while continuing to cast a negative light on the nation.
He said that the federal government had made significant investments in the infrastructure of all higher education institutions nationwide.
He instructed FUL Vice Chancellor Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi to urge lecturers to return to work and added that their protracted absence had harmed rather than helped Nigerian students’ futures.
He declared, “The Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari has made significant progress, particularly in the construction of the infrastructure of our tertiary school. Because TETFUND, buildings, automobiles, and various institutional assets are present everywhere you walk.
“Those who believe that a lack of infrastructure is one of the causes of their strike ought to reconsider. Mr. Vice Chancellor, please allow me to take this occasion to urge you and our lecturers to resume work because our kids are suffering.
Our nation’s standing is declining. These lecturers are also parents to some of our students, which makes our parents unhappy. Contrary to what they believe, some of us also have children attending universities in Nigeria, and those kids are also struggling. However, if we go on strike indefinitely, our kids won’t be able to attend school.
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 month 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 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”.