The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari to revoke the illegal deduction of salaries of public university lecturers.
Naija News reports that the Federal Government had withheld the salaries of the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) after going on strike for over eight months.
The ASUU strike, which started on the 14th of February 2022, ended on the 14th of October following a court order. Days after calling off the strike, President Buhari’s government only paid lecturers for 18 working days in the month of October.
The development has since generated concerns among stakeholders. Explaining why it paid the lectures half-salary, the incumbent government in a statement on Saturday through the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment noted that members of ASUU were paid their October salary pro-rata.
According to the ministry, pro-rata was done because they cannot be paid for work not done, adding that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, never directed the Accountant General of the Federation to pay the university lecturers half salaries.
Reacting, however, to the government’s stand, SERAP in a terse statement on its social media on Sunday, said it has ordered the president to within the next seven days, reverse the illegal deduction of the lecturer’s salary.
The statement read: “We’ve asked President Buhari to reverse within 7 days the apparently illegal deductions from the salaries of ASUU members or face legal action. Paying lecturers half salaries for going on strike is unlawful, and a deliberate attempt to make ASUU a lame duck.”