Gbajabiamila denies promising ASUU release of 8-month withheld salaries


By Ismail Auwal

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has denied promising the the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) payment of salary arrears by the Nigerian government.

The speaker in a statement issued by spokesman for the House, Ben Kalu, said he only 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.

“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.

It could be recalled 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 said, “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.”

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