Why is this important: The Federal Government has been at loggerheads with ASUU since the commencement of the strike about seven months ago.
All efforts to reach an amicable resolution seemed to have failed as the academic union insisted that the Federal Government must honour all the previous agreements between the two parties.
However, the government claimed to have met almost all the demands made by ASUU, but the union was dissatisfied with the government’s “No work, no pay policy” which meant that lecturers would have to forfeit their salaries for the period they’ve been on strike.
Court favours FG: Earlier in the week, an Abuja Industrial Court ordered the union to immediately call off the strike and return to classrooms, but the body has since approached the Appeal Court for the reversal of that judgement.
Falana reacts: Commenting on the development, Falana on a Channels TV program, Sunrise Daily on Friday, September 23, 2022, said the lecturers were well within their rights to demand for the seven months’ salary.
While justifying why the lecturers deserved to be paid their money, the lawyer said all the abandoned work since the strike commenced would be attended to when universities eventually open.
Falan’s word: “The government said we can’t pay ASUU for being on strike…if the strike is called off today, unlike other sectors of the economy, ASUU will ensure that the syllabus for the year is covered.
“In other words, no student will miss a lecture because they are going to have crash programmes, no holidays, no weekends, lectures will be taken. So, they are going to work. They are not saying ‘pay us for services we are not going to render.”
Govt knows the solution: Falana also expressed opinion that the government knows the right thing to do if it wants the strike to be over immediately.
Falana’s word: “I am sad that we are going through these avoidable strikes where students cannot predict when they are going to complete their courses.
“I have been involved in the negotiation between the government and ASUU since 1992 and the attitude of the government is not to address the problems that led to the strike.
“Instead of addressing the problem, successive governments go around trying to destabilise ASUU.
“[The main issues are] the revitalisation of the university system through adequate funding, improvement of the condition of service of lecturers so that our universities can compete. The government agreed in 2019 and an agreement was signed.
“All the government says is we have no money, but the same administration, this year alone, increased fuel subsidy from 443 billion Naira to 4 trillion Naira and we are now being told that before the end of the year, that figure may metamorphose into 6.5 trillion. So where are you getting such money to fund waste and fraud but when it comes to education you say you have no money, I think these are some of the issues.”