The Nigerian government claims it will withhold five months’ salaries from striking university lecturers.
This was revealed in a statement by the Federal Ministry of Education, which said the “No-Work-No-Pay” principle adopted by the government is part of Nigeria’s labour law and is rooted in one of the core principles of the employment relationship.
This comes after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had on Monday extended its industrial action which is in its sixth month.
The union had extended its ongoing strike on Monday morning after a meeting of the National Executive Council at the University of Abuja.
ASUU chairman Professor Emmanuel Osodeke previously confirmed that the union’s NEC will meet on Monday to decide whether to call off the strike or go on strike indefinitely based on the Nigerian government’s proposal.
ASUU went on strike on February 14, 2022, after the government failed to meet its demands, including to improve funding for universities.
But while the government responded to some of ASUU’s demands, the university lecturer’s union rejected several government proposals describing them as “miserly”.
Meanwhile, the statement reads, “I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter with Ref. No. COPSUN/EX/056 dated 19th August, 2022 on the above subject and to reiterate that the principle of ‘No-work-no-pay’ is a part of our Labour Law and common Law and it is rooted in one of the core principles of the employment relationship.”
“Based on the above premise, the FG has refused to concede to ASUU’s demand to be paid a backlog of their withheld emoluments for the past five months because it believes that there should be consequences for their actions. The doctrine of ‘no work no pay’ is a fundamental axiom in Labour and Industrial Relations.”