There are indications that the resumption of academic activities in the nation’s universities may become truncated once again as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is set to summon an emergency meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC).
The decision to convene the meeting follows the alleged payment of half salaries to the lecturers for the month of October, 2022, by the Federal Government.
ASUU recently suspended its eight months industrial action following interventions from the Court of Appeal, which upheld an earlier decision from the National Industrial Court NIC.
No date has been fixed yet, but sources said that the decision to convene a meeting followed the surprise that greeted members of the union when some of them got an alert of half salaries in their accounts for the month of October 2022.
One of the academic staff members, who preferred anonymity said, “I was shocked when I received an alert from my bank and noticed it was half payment; they didn’t even talk about the backlog of the eight months of the strike.”
Also confirming the information, another source said “It is true, I received half, In fact, some professors received salaries of N121,000; we are waiting for the decision of the national body, we are very angry at the moment.”
ASUU National President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, had earlier confirmed the development while granting an interview.
He had stated, “Half salaries were paid, no reasons were given whatsoever. We learnt that Ngige wrote the office of the Accountant General and Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system and told them to only pay us for the period when we called off the strike.
“We heard there was a letter to that effect but we haven’t gotten it yet. We are going to summon a meeting.”
But reacting to the development, the Director of Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Education, Ben Bem Goong, was reported to have said, “We don’t pay salary at the Ministry of Education. Kindly direct your question to the office of the Accountant General.”
Beyond ASUU’s latest grievances, members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of University and Allied Institutions NASU, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities SSANU, among others, have been pressurizing government to pay their arrears of salaries for the eight months the strike lasted in the Nigerian universities.