The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has reacted to reports claiming it paid members of the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria (ASUU) half-salaries for the month of October, Charmingpro reports.
Recall that the lecturers on October 14, called off their eight-month-old strike. As the month of November began, some of them granted press interviews stating that they were only paid half of their October salaries. Some members of the union who spoke to newsmen said despite the suspension of the strike, the government is yet to pay them full salaries.
Moyosore Ajao, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) ASUU chairman told the Cable
“I’m yet to get mine but some of us who have received theirs got half salaries for October. We don’t know why they have to pay us half salary.”
In a statement released on Saturday, November 5, by Olajide Oshundun, Head of Press and Public Relations, the Labour Ministry 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. Pro-rata essentially translates to “in proportion,” which means a process where whatever is being allocated will be distributed in equal portions.
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 Ngige of biased payment of salaries to selected professional members of the union.