Emmanuel Osodeke, president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has dispelled rumours of a fresh strike by lecturers.
The insinuations have been making the rounds following a ruling in favour of the federal government’s ‘no work, no pay’ policy.
Nigeria’s public universities have seen repeated disruptions in academic calendars over the years, with striking lecturers protesting funding deficits, poor conditions of service, and decay in infrastructure.
ASUU embarked on its 16th strike in 23 years in 2022.
The strike lasted for eight months.
In September 2022, the National Industrial Court (NIC) stopped ASUU from continuing with the strike, pending the determination of a suit.
The federal government insisted that the lecturers would not be paid for the period they were on strike, due to its ‘no work, no pay’ policy.
On May 30, the court upheld the government’s stance on the matter.
ASUU revisited the issue on August 19 during a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the University of Maiduguri.
Osodeke said the ‘no work, no pay’ policy ignored the fact that only the teaching component of academic work was suspended during the strike.
Reports have been making the rounds that the union is considering a fresh strike over the ruling of the industrial court.
Osodeke while responding, described the reports as “malicious and unfortunate”.
“We never mentioned the issue of another strike. Are we looking to create confusion? I’m just confused,” he said.
Among the issues raised during ASUU’s NEC meeting in Borno were promotion arrears.
Osodeke said the job racketeering scandal uncovered in the IPPIS has “eroded university employment tradition”.
He said ASUU received reports of mass exit of academics from public universities due to poor working conditions.
“We call on the new administration to save our nation by rejecting the pervasive neo-liberal policies that have brought untold hardship on academics, the working class, and all underprivileged Nigerians,” Osodeke said.