The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has denied being aware of President Bola Tinubu’s directive to pay four out of eight months of withheld salary arrears to its members.
The National Vice President of ASUU, Prof Christopher Piwuna, stated this in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the presentation of scholarships to university undergraduate students in Bauchi Zone, which was held at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Yelwa Campus, Bauchi.
Recall that on October 20, 2023, Tinubu had approved the partial waiver of the “No Work, No Pay” order instituted against striking members of the ASUU following their eight-month strike, which began on February 14, 2022, and was terminated on October 17, 2022.
However, ASUU maintained it was unaware of such developments.
Piwuna, when asked to comment on the status of the four-month salary arrears, said that ASUU is not aware of such.
“We are not aware that the government has awarded money to anybody. We are not aware. As a union, we are not aware of that,” he declared.
Also speaking at the event, Professor Nanmwa Voncir of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, ATBU, Bauchi, blamed the student union representatives for failing to prevent the increase in public university fees.
He said the majority of students from poor backgrounds stand the risk of dropping out of school following the recent increase in school fees by the management of public universities.
According to him, the students’ representatives’ compromising attitude led to the introduction of anti-students policies by the federal government and managers of tertiary institutions.
The former ASUU Chairman, ATBU, and Zonal Coordinator, Bauchi Zone, who questioned the federal government’s claim of insufficient funds for education,, emphasized on the risk of dropout for economically disadvantaged students.
This is as he urged the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) and other student bodies to collaborate with ASUU in advocating for proper university funding and opposing policies detrimental to student welfare.
“I’m disappointed that the leadership of the students has sold out in the struggles, hence the recent arbitrarily increased school fees at universities across the country.”
Voncir recalls a previous instance where the student leadership supported a fee increase in ATBU which ASUU had initially opposed.
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