Home Education ASUU Warns Against Students Loan Scheme, Demands Full Payment of Withheld Salaries

ASUU Warns Against Students Loan Scheme, Demands Full Payment of Withheld Salaries

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By Magnus Effiong

The Students Loan Scheme is an offshoot of international lending agencies, including the IMF and the World Bank, and the scheme is targeted at mortgaging the entire system while keeping indigens students in perpetual indebtedness, the Calabar zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU) has warned.

The Calabar zone, which is made up of Abia State University, Akwa Ibom State University, Ebonyi State University, Cross River University of Technology, University of Calabar, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndifu Alike and the University of Uyo, said this in Calabar, Monday in a press conference.

Reading from a press text, Chairman of the zone, Comrade Happiness Uduk, said “the Union reiterates its extant opposition to increase in fees and sundry charges as well as introduction of Students Loan Scheme.

“The loan scheme is aimed at further underfunding public universities at the behest of their masters, so the private universities owned by politicians could access the funds meant for public schools. The Union proposed that if government wants to invest in the lives of Nigerian students, it should do so through grants and scholarships rather than through the everlasting indebtedness in the pretext of students’ Ioan.”

The Union also decried what it described as victimization of its members in State-owned universities especially in the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, adding, our members are owed arrears of salaries in ABSU, CRUTECH and EBSU, while Earned Academic Allowances have never been paid in state-owned universities in the southeast.

“Our members in EBSU have been victimized and their entitlements denied them even after seeking redress in the court of law. These maltreatments of our members in state-owned universities may hinder industrial harmony in those universities. We implore well-meaning Nigerians and Visitors of these universities to tow the line of peace and justice to ensure continued industrial harmony while allowing our members to breathe,” the Union stated.

It further lamented the refusal of the federal government to hour agreements entered into with ASUU, and therefore called on Nigerians, “including parents who often will blame ASUU for always relying on strikes, to now proffer their alternatives to strikes in the face of the situation we have presented.”

The Union called on both the State and the Federal Government to urgently pay lecturers the remaining five months salaries withheld during the last industrial action, describing the ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy of government as a breach of labour laws.

“ASUU calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to pay without further delay its members their varying months withheld salaries in Federal and State Universities for participating in the 2022 strike.

 “ASUU, as a Union under the Conditions of the ILO, like any other Union, can use strike as a veritable tool to get its demands. Denying its members their salaries for the period of being on strike, and for work that has now been completed is against Labour best practices.

“Government’s leaning on the obnoxious “No-Work No- Pay Policy is a breach of Labour Laws, and this is to further heighten the already tensed work environment.

“Do not forget that the strike was unwillingly suspended on the heels of interventions and promises made both formally and informally by well-meaning Nigerians. To say the least, none of those promises and entreaties has yielded any fruit. “As we speak, there are reports of the payment of two, out of the over seven months salaries, owed our members. ASUU, therefore, unequivocally insists on the total payment of the withheld salaries and en bloc without further delay,”it submitted.

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