Home » ASUU Members Rejoice as Government Pays Back Salaries

ASUU Members Rejoice as Government Pays Back Salaries

The Nigerian government has started paying the withheld salaries of ASUU lecturers, ending a long-standing dispute and restoring hope for the education sector

by Victor Adetimilehin

After months of protests and negotiations, the Nigerian government has finally released the withheld salaries of public university lecturers under the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The payment, which covers four months of salaries, was confirmed by several ASUU members who spoke to our correspondent. They expressed their relief and gratitude for the intervention of President Bola Tinubu, who had promised to pay the lecturers as part of his efforts to reform the education sector.

A long-standing dispute

The lecturers’ salaries were seized by the previous administration of Muhammadu Buhari, who invoked a no-work, no-pay policy against the union that embarked on an eight-month strike in 2022. The strike, which began on February 14, 2022, and ended on October 17, 2022, was over the poor funding and management of public universities, as well as the government’s refusal to implement previous agreements.

The strike disrupted the academic calendar and affected millions of students across the country. Many students lost interest in their studies, while others resorted to alternative means of learning or earning income.

A new dawn for education

The payment of the lecturers’ salaries is seen as a sign of goodwill and commitment by the Tinubu administration, which has pledged to improve the quality and accessibility of education in Nigeria. The president has also granted autonomy to the universities by removing them from the Integrated Payment and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), a controversial platform that the lecturers rejected as a violation of their academic freedom.

The president has also increased the lecturers’ salaries by 35%, and assured them of regular and timely payment henceforth. He has also urged them to refrain from further industrial actions and to cooperate with his government in achieving the vision of a world-class education system in Nigeria.

A hopeful future

The lecturers, who have welcomed the president’s gestures, have also called on him to fulfill his other promises, such as the revitalization of the universities, the payment of earned academic allowances, and the resolution of other outstanding issues. They have also pledged to work hard to make up for the lost time and to deliver quality education to their students.

The students, on their part, have expressed their joy and optimism at the resumption of academic activities and the payment of their lecturers. They have also appealed to the government and the lecturers to maintain a cordial and constructive relationship, and to avoid any situation that could jeopardize their education and future.

With the payment of the lecturers’ salaries, a new chapter has been opened in the history of Nigerian education. It is hoped that this will mark the beginning of a lasting peace and progress in the sector, and a brighter future for the nation.

Source: Punch


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