FG, ASUU face-off: Government won’t pay for service not rendered, minister insists
Notwithstanding objection by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) against alleged payment of incomplete October salary, the Federal Government, yesterday, insisted it would not pay for service not rendered.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, expressed the government’s position on the renewed face-off with ASUU after a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Specifically, reporters had asked the minister to speak on the union’s insistence on holding a protest against the government’s decision to pay its members pro-rata.
Recall also that the lecturers had accused authorities of attempting to turn them into ‘casual workers’.
But Adamu replied: “The strike has been called off and the government has paid what is due to them. I think that’s the position of the government; that it is not going to pay anyone for work not done. And they only did, I think, the number of days that they were paid.
“How can anybody make a university lecturer a casual…Do you know the meaning of casual worker? If you know the meaning of casual worker, it is impossible to make a university lecturer a casual worker.”
Asked whether the government will be disposed to pacifying ASUU and staving off further hostilities, the minister said: “I don’t understand. Is there any problem now?”
But reminded that the lecturers planned to hold a work-free day, he said: “Oh! Okay! I’m not aware. I’m not aware. That they are going on strike? No, nobody has told me.
“Let’s wait till the work-free day comes, then I’ll find out the details and we’ll discuss. You can ask me then. But at the moment, I’m telling you, honestly, I do not know that there is a problem.”
Also, asked to speak on the claim by ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, that the union only had an agreement with the Minister of Education and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, not with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Adamu said: “I cannot add any light on something that I do not know.
“And since they said they have no business with the Minister of…Did they show you the agreement? Well, I’m not aware that there’s any agreement between us.”