The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has carpeted media reports, alleging bias in the payment of salaries of members of the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria (ASUU).
The ministry went on to dismiss ASUU claims that their members were paid half their salary for the month of October.
In a press statement issued by Olajide Oshundun, Head of Press and Public Relations, the Labour Ministry on Saturday, said that both reports as grossly inaccurate, misleading and barefaced distortions of facts
The statement explained that members of ASUU were paid their October salary pro-rata, and not half salary as the media widely reported.
According to the ministry, pro-rata was done because they cannot be paid for work not done.
It states that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, never directed the Accountant General of the Federation to pay the university lecturers half-salary.
The statement in part reads, “Following the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which upheld the order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), asking ASUU to go back to work, the leadership of the union wrote to the Minister, informing him that they have suspended the strike. The Federal Ministry of Education wrote to him in a similar vein and our labour inspectors in various states also confirmed that they have resumed work.
“So, the Minister wrote to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, directing that their salaries should be restored. They were paid in pro rata to the number of days that they worked in October, counting from the day that they suspended their industrial action. Pro-rata was done because you cannot pay them for work not done. Everybody’s hands are tied.”
The ministry equally faulted a statement by the Chairperson of ASUU, Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS) branch, Muhammad N. Al-Mustapha, accusing the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, of biased payment of salaries to selected professional members of the union.
“Those obviously being referred to by the UDUS ASUU chairperson were members of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association (MDCAN) who abstained from the eight-month strike of ASUU because they abhorred the incessant strikes by the union and its grave effects on medical education in Nigeria and production of more medical doctors.
ASUU, UDUS branch, as an association, is expected to protect the interest of all her members and appreciate the differences or peculiarities of medical education. The ASUU can legitimately fight for its lawful rights without tramping on the rights of others who are also university staff. We hope that this response will put issues in their proper perspective.”
Consequently, the ministry dismissed the accusation of selective treatment in the payment of salaries to ASUU members, urging the media to cross-check their facts to avoid feeding the public with the wrong information.
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