Release Withheld Salaries of Varsity Workers, NLC Tells Buhari:

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the payment of withheld salaries of university workers.

The President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba made the call at the national administrative council meeting held in Abuja yesterday

In 2022, lecturers under the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an eight-month strike over the non-implementation of their demands by the federal government.

At the time, the federal government had threatened to invoke the ‘no work, no pay’ policy on the striking lecturers.

After the strike was called off, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu said the government “is not going to pay anyone for work not done.”

At the council meeting yesterday, Wabba said the situation has made it difficult for university staff to cope with the present economic conditions.

He said: “We urge President Muhammadu Buhari as a mark of goodwill to direct the payment of all withheld salaries of university workers. The affected university workers are finding it difficult to cope with the prevailing economic challenges in the country.”

Wabba also asked the federal government “to review the wages of public sector workers. Furthermore, it is quite important to remind the federal government that the last public sector wage review was done in 2011 and has since expired.

“The need for another review cannot be overstated given the excruciating economic realities in Nigeria today,” the leader of the organised labour said.

Meanwhile, the NLC president also appealed for a solution to the hike in petrol prices and scarcity of the product.

Wabba also warned against “deliberate roadblocks mounted against citizens who desire” to collect their permanent voter cards (PVCs).

“These are all signs of a nation in acute dire straits. It is sad, unfortunate and totally unacceptable,” he said.

“On our part as a pan Nigerian, progressive, pro-masses and pro-poor organisation, we would not fold our hands and watch Nigerians being taken advantage of in any manner.

“We call on those whose work it is to provide Nigerians access to affordable public services, amenities and utilities to undertake their responsibilities with utmost diligence and patriotism.

“Nigerian workers and citizens are not slaves. They deserve tolerable and indeed decent living conditions in order for them to continue to make contributions to the arduous task of nation-building.”

The NLC president added that the union “is mobilising its members across the country for a “major protest.”

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