The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said lecturers choose to pursue non-academic endeavours to support themselves as their strike action continues.
The union had, on February 14, embarked on strike in support of a number of demands, including improved welfare, the revitalisation of public universities, and academic autonomy.
The government’s choice not to accept the union’s requests, according to ASUU President Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, is damaging the country.
The Federal Government pledged N50 billion on Saturday to pay earned allowances for university staff, including ASUU members. This led to the suspension of strike actions by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Education Institutions (NASU).
However, given that ASUU is still on strike, activities are anticipated to be restricted in public universities.
The government’s suggestion about the “no work, no pay” rule, according to Minister Adamu, was rejected by ASUU.
The government must compensate for the six months that the union’s members were absent from class, the union has demanded.
“So many lecturers are leaving to engage in farming and others; lecturers are tired of the treatment they’re receiving from the government, and because of this, they are looking for alternatives. So many more will leave even after the strike, too,” he said.
“I pity the country; Nigeria will be the loser for it. Instead of coming to the table, look at how they will solve the issue, rather, they believe in punishing lecturers.
It’s so sad. Your lecturers went on strike, you believe they will become hungry and come back to beg. Many lecturers will also leave to venture into other areas; some are also looking at becoming self-employed.”