The Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanak Opiah has reminded striking lecturers that the “no work no pay” policy of the government still stands.
He described the Academic Staff of Union of Universities, ASUU, as thieves for wanting to receive salaries for the six months that they did not work.
Opiah stated these while on a visit to the Federal University of Lokoja, Kogi State on Friday, adding that the government had done its best to resolve the issues raised by ASUU.
He urged the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi to appeal to lecturers to resume work, as the strike action has done much harm to the future of Nigerian students.
Said the Minister:
“The federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has done so much, especially, in infrastructural development in our tertiary institution, because anywhere you go, you will see the presence of TETFUND, buildings, vehicles and all manners of institutional assets.
“Those who think that lack of infrastructure is one of the reasons they went on strike should think again. Mr Vice Chancellor, let me use this opportunity to appeal to you, to also appeal to our lecturers to come back to work because our children are suffering.
“Our country’s image is going lower. Our parents are not happy, and these lecturers are also parents of some of our students. Contrary to what they think, some of us also have our children in Nigerian Universities and they are also suffering.
“Although, if we stay on strike forever, it means our children will be out of school forever. It is not in our own interest. There is nothing that has gone wrong that we cannot get corrected through dialogue. I know that almost everything that ASUU brought forth for discussion between the federal government has been resolved.
“Except that, now that ASUU wants to be paid for all the six months that they were absent from duty. And the Federal Government is saying no we cannot pay for those days you did not work. For once, let us activate the principle of no work no pay which is natural. It is only a thief that goes to eat where he didn’t work.
“And so if there should be any appeal for Federal Government to do otherwise, Lecturers should come back to the classroom to beg and appeal and renegotiate because this thing is no longer funny.”