The Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah Opiah has slammed the Academic Staff Union University over the lingering impasse between the union and the Federal Government.
Oprah, while expressing dismay over the more than 200 days old strike embarked upon by ASUU since February 14th, 2022, said the Federal Government has done its best to resolve the issues raised by ASUU but they have been adamant to call off the strike.
The minister who spoke when he visited Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State said the ‘no work no pay’ policy stands.
He said, “The Federal Government cannot pay lecturers for what they did not work for. The strike has continued to portray the country in a bad light and has succeeded in causing more pain for parents and students.”
He said that the federal government has done so much on infrastructural development in all higher institutions across the country.
He charged the Vice-chancellor of FUL Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi to appeal to lecturers to come back to work adding that, their prolonged stay at home has done more harm than good to the future of Nigerian Students.
He said, “The Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has done so much, especially in infrastructural development in our tertiary institution. Because anywhere you go, you will see the presence of TETFUND, buildings, vehicles, and all manners of institutional assets.
“Those who think that lack of infrastructure is one of the reasons they went on strike should think again. Mr. Vice Chancellor, let me use this opportunity to appeal to you, to also appeal to our lecturers to come back to work because our children are suffering.
“Our country’s image is going lower. Our parents are not happy, and these lecturers are also parents of some of our students. Contrary to what they think, some of us also have our Children in Nigeria Universities and they are also suffering.
“Although, if we stay on strike forever, it means our Children will be out of School forever. It is not in our interest. There is nothing that has gone wrong that we cannot get corrected through dialogue. I know that almost everything that ASUU brought forth for discussion between the Federal Government has been resolved.
“Except that, now that ASUU wants to be paid for all the six months that they were absent from duty. And the Federal Government is saying no we cannot pay for those days you did not work. For once, let us activate the principle of no work no natural pay. It is only a thief that goes to eat where he didn’t work.
“And so if there should be any appeal for Federal Government to do otherwise, Lecturers should come back to the classroom to beg and appeal and renegotiate because this thing is no longer funny”.