The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) revealed that the majority of its members were forced to work as farmers or taxi drivers nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnmnnn make ends meet.
Adelaja Odukoya, the Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Lagos Zone, made the disclosure on Tuesday while addressing journalists at the end of the union’s zonal meeting held at the Federal University of Agriculture, Alabata, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State.
Odukoya, flanked by the zone’s branch chairmen, slammed Senators and House of Representatives members for receiving ‘jumbo pay,’ while academic members were “being impoverished by the federal government.”
He charged the federal government with purposefully impoverishing university lecturers by refusing to implement the Memorandum of Action (MoA) signed with the union in 2020.
He bemoaned ASUU members’ “poor remuneration,” lamenting that the “federal government has turned lecturers into farmers and taxi drivers.”
Odukoya accused the federal government of weaponizing poverty against academics, referring specifically to Senate President Ahmad Lawan’s disclosure of the lawmakers’ monthly and operational earnings.
The lecturers chastised members of the National Assembly for allegedly “earning between N1.5 million and N1.3 million monthly” to the detriment of professors, who he claimed receive N416, 000 as take-home pay.
The union also stated that it will not back down from its planned strike unless the government meets its demands.
Odukoya said, “We have always insisted that the cost of governance in this country is too high and nobody is doing anything about it and to increase the salary of lecturers is now a problem for the government”.
“This is happening against the background of the public admission by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan only yesterday that a Senator earns N1.5 million while a member of the House of Representatives earns N1.3m per month”.
“It will shock you to know that for most of us outside Lagos, we engage in farming to survive, while some of us in Lagos engage in ‘kabukabu’ (taxi driving) and other menial jobs because our salary can no longer take us home”.
“Regrettably, with 9 days to the one year anniversary of our suspension of our last strike and signing of the 2020 MoA (Memorandum of Actions), the government has adamantly and most shamefully refused, failed and neglected to do what was freely agreed to between us”.