ASUU: Gbajabiamila Denies Promising FG’ll Pay Salary Arrears

by Oluwamuyiwa Oyedele

The House of Representatives on Wednesday disclosed that its Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila did not promise the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) payment of salary arrears by the Nigerian government.

This was contained in a statement issued by spokesman for the House, Ben Kalu.

Recall that ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, had on Tuesday accused Gbajabiamila of deceiving them into calling off its industrial action.

Osodeke also alleged that the speaker had presented a paper signed by him to ASUU leadership indicating the readiness of the government to pay in full the eight-month salaries to its members as well as attend to other grievances of the union.

Osodeke was quoted as saying: “Here we are till today, nothing has been done over the promise and that is why the Speaker did not say anything tangible since then at least on the issues let alone ensure that his promises are carried out.”

Kalu, who responded to the allegation, said the speaker never promised the union such.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the House to the concerns of the lecturers as contained in the 2023 Appropriation Bill, where N170 billion and N300 billion were set side for their welfare package and revitalization of universities respectively.

“No point did the Speaker of the House of Representatives commit to offset the arrears of salaries owed to union members for the time they were on strike”, Kalu said.

“It is now clear that ASUU President had-faith approach to negotiations and his affinity for political brinkmanship are significant reasons the universities were on strike for so long”, he added.

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