The Federal Government has suggested that affected students should take the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to court to claim for damages incurred over the strike period.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who made the suggestion during the ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, pointed out that the Federal Government bears no liability to compensate millions of students grounded for six months over lost time.
He said it was the responsibility of ASUU to compensate students for the time wasted from the six-month strike, and not the Federal Government.
He also said if the students were determined to get compensated, they should take ASUU to court, stressing that the Union must compensate students for wasted time
Speaking further, the Minister said the public university lecturers would not be paid salaries for the six months they have been on strike to serve as deterrent to others from going on strike.
He stated that government rejected ASUU’s demand to be paid the salary backlog because it believed there had to be penalties for their action.
“The standard government has taken now is not to pay the months in which no work was done. I think this is the only thing that is in the hands of government to ensure there is penalty for behaviour such as this.
“So, I believe teachers will think twice before they join strike if they know that at the end, they are not going to be paid and the Federal Government is not acting arbitrarily. Before, it was some magnanimity on its part, there is a law which says if there is no work, there will be no pay. I believe this will be a very strong element that will be deterrent from going on strike.”
The minister said Buhari’s administration had expended N6,003,947,848,237 in capital and recurrent expenditure on the education sector in the last seven years, explaining this was in addition to interventions from TETFund and UBEC, amounting to N2.5 trillion and N553,134,967,498 respectively in capital investments.