The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), South-West zone, has kicked against the reported half-salaries paid to the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) by the Federal Government.
This was contained in a statement signed by its coordinator, Adegboye Olatunji; deputy coordinator, Alao John and Public Relations officer, Awoyinfa Opeoluwa, on Thursday.
The association said the Federal Government has failed to prioritise education under the present administration.
The statement read; “The actions, inactions and body language of President Muhammadu Buhari led administration have left us with no doubt that there is poor attention to the education sector under this government.’’
“And like the proverbial King who reigned during a period of widespread discomfort, the degeneration and acute deterioration experienced in the educational sector will not be forgotten in a hurry by Nigerians.’’
“Just as Nigerian students are finally able to smile after the suspension of an eight-month-long ASUU strike, the Federal Government in their usual retrogressive inclinations has deemed it ‘wise’ to pay half salaries to members of ASUU. This ill-advised action, if allowed to stand, will not only set a bad precedence, but ruin the already tattered morale of our lecturers and further weaken the already debilitated trust between the said union and the government.”
“Ironically, those directly appointed and being paid from our commonwealth to oversee education and Labour matters namely; Mallam Adamu Adamu (the Minister for Education); Dr. Chris Ngige ( the Minister of Labour and Employment); and Festus Keyamo (the Minister of State for Labour and Employment) made meagre contributions to the development.’’
“As a matter of fact, we have it on good record that Ngige particularly was willing to crash the entire sector just to bring ASUU on its knees and massage his own fragile ego.’’
“From all indications, if drastic measures aren’t taken, the Federal Government and its overpaid employee; Ngige seems ready to bury the entire educational sector.”
NANS said if ASUU chose to boycott work again as a result of the decision of the FG, “the government might as well forget about Tertiary Education completely.”
NANA said; “It is well established that upon resumption of academic activities, lecturers must continue from where they had stopped before the strike, and therefore perform all expected responsibilities.’’
“Consequently, the Federal government has no ground for paying only half salaries.”
“As the leadership of all Nigerian students in the entire South-West, we demand that our intellectuals and the moulders of our collective future be accorded their deserved respect and their dignity not be tampered on.”In addition, procedure to pay the remaining balance of their remunerations should be put in motion immediately.”
CEOAFRICA has reported that ASUU had sought the cooperation of Nigerians amid the recent developments, as it said it will opt for legal means to further pursue its course. This is as the FG, through Nigige had insisted that ASUU lectueres were paid “pro-rata”, that is only for the job done.