The Federal Government’s efforts to end the industrial action that the Academic Staff Union of Universities began on February 14 has been described by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Tuesday.
At a news conference in Abuja, Adamu stated that the government had given the union a wage raise offer of 23.5% “for all categories of the workforce in Federal Universities, except for the professorial cadre, which will enjoy a 35% upward review.”
Adamu said the government had also promised that a sum of N150 billion “shall be provided for in the 2023 Budget as funds for the revitalisation of Federal Universities, to be disbursed to the Institutions in the First Quarter of the year.”
Also, the government pledged a sum of N50 billion that would be provided “for in the 2023 Budget for the payment of outstanding areas of earned academic allowances, to be paid in the First Quarter of the year.”
Minister Adamu stated that the offer was rejected by ASUU and three other university unions who had been on strike because they felt it was “inadequate to fulfil their various requests needed to handle the difficulties facing the university sector.”
The union wants salaries to increase by more than 100%, an ASUU insider claims.
After additional negotiations with the government, other unions, including NASU, SSANU, and NAAT, suspended their industrial action. In contrast, ASUU extended its strike indefinitely.
“We have done the best we can in the circumstance,” the Minister said.
The Minister added that the “no work, no pay” problem continues to be a significant roadblock in the negotiations.
“In the spirit of sincerity, the Government made it clear that it would not break the law,” Minister Adamu said.
“And on this, I must, openly and once again, thank all the Unions which made the sacrifice of understanding the position of Government on the matter.”