The back and forth between the striking university lecturers under the umbrella of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government continued on Wednesday when the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, maintained that the Federal Government has not and will not rescind its decision on ‘no work no pay’ policy.
Adamu who appeared on Channels Television Programme, Politics Today, last night, said the Federal Government has taken a decision that it would not pay any worker that goes on strike for whatever reason for the period they were on out of work.
He asked ASUU members to forfeit their six months salary as part of sacrifices towards a better university system.
He maintained that Federal Government has been sincere in its engagements with the university lecturers regarding the industrial dispute, and had made the best offer it could make given the current economic circumstances.
“We can’t do better than our best. Any Nigerian who is disappointed in government’s way of handling the issue is probably not informed adequately of the efforts so far. We have made the best offer to satisfy ASUU demands, and you should know that there’s no demand of any union in the world that can be met 100 per cent by any government.”
He asked Nigerians to all put pressure on ASUU to also make sacrifices towards resolving the industrial disagreement for the betterment of the university education system. “Nigerians should also blame ASUU members and not only the federal government for this prolonged strike.
“Nigerians should have pushed all the blame to the federal government if they had failed to do what they are supposed to do. But in this case, the federal government has done very well and should be commended for the approach so far.”
The minister, in his assessment of education system in Nigeria confirmed that there’s gradual improvement in the system but more effort is required to raise the bar.
He blamed corruption for the increasing rot in the education system, administratively and otherwise, thus soliciting the support and cooperation of Nigerians to tackle corruption in the education system in Nigeria.
He commended the contributions of private universities to the education system, maintaining that there’s nothing bad in Nigerians traveling abroad to acquire education. “It’s left for our schools in Nigeria
to work hard and attract foreign students and lecturers. Nigeria education is not as bad as the pictures being painted but it can be better.”