1st December, 2022
The Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has called on the Federal Government to release the seven months’ unpaid salaries of its members.
The Union’s Chairman, Dr Chinedu Ihejirika, stated this in a communique he co-signed with its secretary, Dr Etienne Chinakwe, and made available to newsmen in Owerri on Thursday, after a protest march by members of the Union.
Ihejirika voiced the Union’s rejection of what he described as the “casualisation of Academics through the pro-rata payment of half salaries to lecturers in October 2022.
He said the lecturers deserved their salaries, adding that the strike was only a legitimate tool to press home the union’s demands and grievances.
According to him, the fate of any nation lies with its intellectuals, hence the need to preserve the future of great Nigerian children and the nation at large by paying prompt attention to the Union’s demands.
He said the federal government should pay the withheld salaries without further delay.
“We urge the government to honour their agreements, stop the No Work, No Pay anti-labour rule and use the first ever developed, home-grown payment platform, known as the University Transparency and Accountability System (UTAS) to pay University Teaching Staff”, he said.
Speaking while receiving the Union in her office, Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Nnenna Oti, assured the lecturers of her solidarity with the Union and its legitimate demands.
Oti, represented by the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academics, Prof. Godfrey Nwandikom, said that the demands would be conveyed to the appropriate authorities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of the Union chanted solidarity songs while carrying placards with inscriptions such as “We say no to casualisation and victimisation of lecturers.”
Others are “ASUU is fighting for the survival of Nigerian Universities” and “Pay us our salary arrears” among others.
The federal government had insisted that it would not pay salaries for the seven months during which the lecturers were on strike.