The Nigerian government has commenced plans to release the withheld salaries of some medical lecturers in various federal universities who opted out of the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
The development is sequel to a letter by the medical lecturers, under the aegis of Medical and Dental Consultants Association, MDCAN, to the Ministers of Education, Labour and Employment, and Finance, Budget and National Planning, requesting for the payment of their withheld March-June, 2022 salaries.
The affected lecturers are from University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, UMTH, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, ATBUTH, and the Usman Danfodiyo Teaching Hospital, UDUTH.
A top official of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning stated that approval had been granted for payment of the lecturers.
According to the official, the approval was granted because the medical lecturers harkened to plea by the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians for ASUU to stay on duty while negotiating with the Federal Government.
“We are processing the payment as approved by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning. Our target is to get the salaries paid immediately workers return from Sallah holiday,”Vanguard quoted a source as saying.
Meanwhile, more medical lecturers have defied the ongoing ASUU strike to resume work in their various universities.
A letter issued by the MDCAN, ATBUTH chapter to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, indicated that some clinical lecturers have been working throughout the period of the strike. The letter entitled, “Request for Payment of Withheld Salaries,” was signed by the Chairman of MDCAN ATBUTH, Dr Yakubu B. Sharma and Secretary, Dr Rufai A. Dachi.
It reads: “We hereby write to humbly request for the payment of withheld salaries of our members from March 2022 to June 22. These members are clinical lecturers who have been working throughout the period of the ongoing ASUU strike.
“Kindly find attached the list of the affected staff with their details duly endorsed by the Provost, College of Medical Sciences, ATBU Bauchi and the Vice Chancellor of the University.”