The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige
has said that any proposed increase in allowances and
salaries by the Academic Staff Union of Universities that is
not in sync with the National Salaries and Wages
Commission will not scale through.
The minister also advised the union to work with what was
obtainable with the National Salaries Income and Wages
Commission and the Presidential Steering Committee on
salaries and wages.
Oniftv reports that ASUU and the Federal
Government had begun a series of negotiations aimed
towards the suspension of the four-week strike declared
by the union.
ASUU during its extraordinary National Executive Council
meeting held at the University of Lagos on February
14,2022 had declared the action over what it claimed was
the failure of the government to meet its lingering
demands, including earned allowances, release of
revitalization funds for universities, increase in salary
scale of lecturers, deployment of the UTAS payment
platform for university workers, among others.
Following ASUU’s declaration, religious organizations,
House of Representatives, Students bodies among others
had called on the Federal Government to prevail on the
union to end the strike.
Speaking to Saturday PUNCH, Ngige explained that one of
ASUU’s major demands was centered on the increase in
allowances and salaries.
According to the minister, increment in salaries and
allowances is a process that undergoes due process.
He said, “The demands were not new areas, but issues
already being addressed by the Federal Government since
“That is why I said we are shocked that they went on this
strike. These issues were discussed November/ December
last year up to the time we paid the monies for the Earned
Academic Allowances. It was done last year. We paid
N22.172 billion. So, they have received the money.
“The second area is renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.
It talks about renegotiation of their conditions of service,
both salaries and allowances. I made it clear to them that
there is a government process. The Federal Ministry of
Education alone cannot wake up and increase your
“There are known rates for allowances and any proposal
not in sync with what the National Salaries, Incomes and
Wages Commission prescribed would not sail through.
“I made it clear to ASUU that they should follow the
normal route and work with the NSIWC and PSC in pursuit
of their demands.
“So, if you are talking about duty tour allowances for a
lecturer in the university, who is also a public officer, it
must not be above what is presently rolled out as the new
guideline. If you are talking about hazard allowance, it
must not be above what is obtainable for the university
Total varsity shutdown looms as SSANU, others threaten
In a related development, a total shutdown of universities
in the country may be imminent following a fresh strike
notice to the Federal Government over non-
implementation of signed agreements by the National
Association of Academic Technologists, Senior Staff
Association of Nigeria Universities and the Non-Academic
Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions.
The threat is coming barely 13 days after the Academic
Staff Union of Universities declared a one-month warning
strike which has crippled academic activities in
The Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU said at
its meeting on February 24, 2022, it has reviewed the
status of the Memorandum of Understanding reached with
the Federal Government following its industrial action of
January and February 2021.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday, President of
NAAT, Ibeji Nwokoma explained that each branch of the
union would hold congresses between March 15 – 16 to
discuss the response of the FG to their demands.
He said the university technologists have given the
government February 28 to March 14 to implement its
demands, adding that the Joint Action Committee
comprising SSANU and NASU have put its members on
“red alert” over a possible strike.
He added that a two-week warning strike would be
declared by NAAT on March 17, 2022 at the expiration of
the two-week grace if there was no positive response from
In a statement jointly signed by the General Secretary,
NASU, Prince Peters Adeyemi and National President of
SSANU, Mohammed Ibrahim, the JAC said, “Having waited
one whole year for the consummation of the
Memorandum of Understanding and despite all peaceful
entreaties, we wish to notify all stakeholders in the
Nigerian universities and Inter-University Centres and
indeed all Nigerians of the possible breakdown of
industrial peace in the university system borne out of
disrespect for Collective Bargaining Agreements reached
with NASU and SSANU by Government.”
Some of the demands of the unions include non – full
implementation of the 2009 agreement, alleged refusal to
release the enabling circular for the implementation of
CONTISS 14 & 15 for Academic Technologists as
contained in the MOU of 2017, 2020 and 2021; non-
payment of Earned Allowance as agreed in the MoU of
2021 and delay in renegotiation of 2009 agreement.