The National Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), North-west, Dr. Salihu Lukman has advised the federal government to compensate students with seven months’ salaries of ASUU members.
In a statement released in response to the National Industrial Court’s (NIC) ruling on the seven-month-old ASUU strike, Lukman made the demand on Wednesday.
The last seven months had been traumatizing for parents and innocent youngsters, he added, so every effort must be made to adhere fully Justice Polycap Hamman’s ruling.
According to Lukman, all efforts must be made to immediately put an end to the pain and hardships caused by the seven-month strike.
“The debate about whether the government should pay ASUU members for the seven months they are on strike should be treated based on the provisions of their employment contract.
“Anything to the contrary will amount to encouraging ASUU, and by extension other unions to engage processes of collective bargaining based on blackmail antics and show of crude power. This must be discouraged,” Lukman said.
“If government will at all consider any payment, it should be to compute what ASUU members could have earned during the period and pay it to students as scholarship or some sort of compensation for the ‘irreparable damages to their careers’ occasioned by the strike.
“In fact, ASUU members should voluntarily and willingly accept this as part of the discharge of their community service function.”
However, Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Ebonyi State University Chapter, Dr. Ikechukwu Igwenyi, has explained that the N1.1tn revitalisation fund is no longer viable.
Dr. Ikechukwu Igwenyi requested the union’s national leadership to reconsider the agreement it signed with the Federal Government in 2009 and to start over.
He emphasized that the N1.1 trillion remaining revitalization budget for the country’s universities was unsustainable, claiming that the 2009 agreement between the union and the government and the present economic climate were at odds.
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