President Bola Tinubu has approved the release of four months of the withheld salaries of members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Nigeria’s public universities have seen repeated disruptions in academic calendars over the years, with striking lecturers protesting funding deficits, poor conditions of service, and decay in infrastructure.
ASUU embarked on its 16th strike in 23 years in 2022. The strike lasted for eight months.
In September 2022, the National Industrial Court (NIC) stopped the union from continuing with the strike, pending the determination of a suit.
The federal government insisted that the lecturers would not be paid for the period they were on strike in accordance with the “no work, no pay” order.
On May 30, the industrial court upheld the government’s stance on the matter.
However, Tinubu, on Friday, exercised the presidential prerogative of mercy to intervene in the matter.
He partially waived the “no work, no pay” order, amounting to the release of four months of the eight-month pay of the lecturers withheld by the government.
Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesperson, said in a statement conveying Tinubu’s decision, that the waiver is part of an ongoing effort to mitigate the difficulties being felt during the implementation of key economic reforms in the country.
He said the education and labour ministries have been mandated to first secure a document of understanding (DoU) establishing that the waiver will be the last one to be granted to ASUU and other education sector unions.