By Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The strike action embarked upon by lecturers in public universities may have assumed a new dimension as the federal government has directed Vice Chancellors of striking Public varsities and inter-varsity centres to enforce no-work-no-pay rule on striking lecturers.
This directive was communicated to the universities in a memo sent by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) to the Vice Chancellors.
The memo which was signed by Director, Research, Information and Technology Dr. S.B Ramon-Yusuf, said that payment of salaries from any other sources will be viewed as violation of extant rules and government directive.
The memo read in part, “In view of the current Industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the federal government has directed that there shall be no payment of any form of salaries and allowances to the staff on strike in federal and inter-varsity centres.
“Consequently, I am to direct Vice-Chancellors to apply the “No-work-no-pay” rule. However, Universities and inter-varsity centers are to pay salaries and allowances to Non-teaching staff. All Vice Chancellors and Directors of centres should note that the salaries to staff on strike from whatever source of funds shall be viewed as violation of extant rules and directive of the federal government of Nigeria.”
But reacting to the memo on no-work-no-pay, the Chairman University of Ibadan Chapter of ASUU, Dr. Deji Omole, described the federal government action as shameless for owing lecturers seven years of unpaid earned academic allowances and still want them to continue to work for free while the Presidency and the National Assembly feed fat on the wealth of the nation.
He said it was sad that a government that prides itself as having integrity has shameful shown it lacks integrity by failing to honour agreements reached with the union but resulted to harassment and intimidation of our members on a patriotic struggle to save public education in Nigeria.
Omole said that the directive will add fuel to the struggle as academic staff have resolved to get proper education for the children of the masses.
According to him, the Military government tried unsuccessfully to intimidate the collective will of Nigerian masses adding that members of the union have resolved to fight for the future of the country.
“We have passed this road before. It is a familiar terrain which we can navigate with our eyes closed. We shall triumph any attempt to destroy the common patrimony”. The power of the people is stronger than the people in power” he said.