The Federal Government has commenced the payment of minimum wage arrears, which it owed lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, and Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, as part of efforts to end ongoing strikes by the unions, The PUNCH has learnt.
Anderson Ezeibe, the national president of ASUP, and the Chairman, ASUU FUTMinna, Dr. Gbolahan Bolarin, confirmed this in separate interviews with our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday.
The PUNCH reported that the two unions are currently on strike following the inability of the government to meet their demands including the payment of minimum wage arrears and release of revitalisation funds, among others.
While ASUU commenced its strike on February 14, 2022, ASUP is currently on an initial two-week warning strike.
Confirming the payment on Thursday, May 19, 2022, Ezeibe, however, said that was just the beginning.
He said, “The government has started responding. They just started paying the salary/minimum wage arrears, the one they have refused to pay.
“However, that is just one of the demands, so we have not reached anywhere. They have not attended to the others, but I can confirm that people have started receiving alerts of the arrears owed.”
Also, Bolarin, said, “Some of my members got alert of their minimum wage arrears; their salaries are still pending.”
Meanwhile, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology’s management has announced that the school would resume academic activities on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
A circular which was signed by the Registrar of the school, Kayode Ogunleye, partly read, “Upon the directive of the visitor to the university, the management hereby informs all staff and students that the university will continue its academic activities for the first semester of the 2021/2022 academic session on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
“The amended academic calendar for the session will soon be made available. Staff and students are hereby enjoined to abide by this directive.”
Varsity students barricade roads in Ekiti
Sunday Asefon, the president, National Association of Nigerian Students, on Thursday, May 19, 2022, led university students in Ekiti State to protest continuous closure of public universities in the state over the industrial action embarked upon by ASUU.
Asefon, who said he joined the protest organised by NANS/ Joint Campus Committee, Ekiti axis to compel the Federal Government to hearken to the striking university teachers’ demands in solidarity, said, “The rally being planned by NANS national body is coming soon. I decided to join this because I am from Ekiti and I have to partake in solidarity.”
The protest carried out by students from Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, and Federal University, Oye Ekiti caused discomfort along major roads in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, as the students trekked from the Adebayo area to Fajuyi Park in the heart of the city as they mounted barricades at intervals along Ado – Adebayo – Iworoko Road.
Asefon, who lamented that the country’s education was being stifled by protracted closure of universities, said, “What we are saying is that we are tired of staying at home. Our students want to return to school.”