MEMBERS of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have expressed disappointment in the Federal Government for paying only two and not four as earlier promised, out of their eight months withheld salaries.

They said that the payment was delayed, and that the money had greatly lost value as purchasing power of Naira had gone down drastically, particularly in the last eight months after the removal of fuel subsidy.

A cross section of the members who spoke to Nigerian Tribune said they expected the government to pay them at least four month salaries at once and then pay the remaining four months almost immediately thereafter.

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They noted that the current high cost of goods and services in the country has devalued of the entire eight months withheld salaries.

The Lagos State zone coordinator of ASUU, who is also the dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Professor Adelaja Odukoya said there was nothing to celebrate about the two months payment and that he wouldn’t want to talk about it.

He said, “You owed me eight months salaries and now you paid only two out of the eight months.

“We all know that the value of the salaries when you owed us is no longer the same at the time you are paying us. The value has gone down drastically to the extent that an item that cost just only N100 back then for instance is now being sold for about N700 or more.

“That is the situation we find ourselves in today as a country. I want to believe that that is the same feeling for my colleagues too. There is absolutely nothing to celebrate about the payment.

“Afterall, it is our money. We worked for it, it is not free money. Moreso, we had done all the work we didn’t do during the industrial action after calling off the strike.

“We worked sacrificially to ensure that we covered-up for the lost time claimed by the strike. It’s high time the government stopped ridiculing lecturers; we deserve the honour and fair treatment.”

Meanwhile, the President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, acknowledged the payment of the two months’ salaries and pointed out that some of the members even had their salaries mutilated.

He, however, told Nigerian Tribune that the union is monitoring the situation and will brief newsmen on its stance appropriately.

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