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Femi Gbajabiamila Defends FG on “Half Salary”

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has appealed for calm over the issues between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government.

This is following the half salaries reportedly paid to lecturers by the FG.

Gbajabiamila, in a statement on Monday, said the FG acted in the interest of the law adding that it was the government’s legitimate interest in preventing moral hazard and discouraging disruptive industrial actions.

The Speaker said, “When ASUU called off their industrial action three weeks ago, it meant that academic activities could resume in our nation’s public universities, and students could return to their academic pursuits after the prolonged interruption. This decision was rightly heralded nationwide as the correct decision.

“Since then, the Executive and the House of Representatives have worked to address the issues that led to the strike. We are currently working on the 2023 Appropriations Bill, which includes the sum of N170bn to provide a level of increment in the welfare package of university lecturers.

“The Bill also includes additional N300bn in revitalisation funds to improve the infrastructure and operations of federal universities.”

“Furthermore, the House of Representatives has convened the Accountant General of the Federation ASUU and other stakeholders to facilitate the adoption of elements of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System

This effort, Gbajabiamila said, was being supervised by the Chairman of the House Committee on Tertiary Education, Hon. Aminu Suleiman.

“The Executive position that it is not obligated to pay salaries to lecturers for the time spent on strike is premised on the law and the government’s legitimate interest in preventing moral hazard and discouraging disruptive industrial actions.

“Nonetheless, interventions have been made to explore the possibility of partial payments to the lecturers. We look forward to a favourable consideration by President Buhari, who has manifested his desire to what is prudent and necessary to resolve all outstanding issues,” he stated.

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