African Gists

Slash lawmakers’ salaries by 50% to settle ASUU demands — Ali Ndume – Instablog9ja

Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno-south, has asked the federal government to slash the salaries of lawmakers by half to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Speaking on Thursday, in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, Ndume said it will be in national interest if the federal government takes such action. He advised the federal government to constitute a high-powered standing committee of respected educationist and patriotic Nigerians to meet with the ASUU leadership to address lingering issues.

“Even if it means that the national assembly will reduce sitting allowances or be paid on casual allowances basis whenever they sit at the lower and upper chambers, by cutting the recurrent expenditure in the budget of the federal lawmakers to settle the ASUU arrears, let it be. It will be in the overall national interest of Nigerians.

We only assemble twice or so per week and get paid as such. Civil servants who worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic were paid their full salaries and allowances monthly. So, why will the federal government cut university lecturers salaries because they went on legitimate strike? Constitutionally, they are fighting for their privileges.

As a matter of priority and as public servants in the legislative chambers, we don’t work; so why don’t you just give us half salary and then pay ASUU.” The lawmaker added that it was time for the cr#sis to be resolved even if it involves borrowing to finance the education sector.
.
“We are budgeting 20.5 trillion for 2023,  I don’t see any reason why the government will not budget one trillion to address the lingering challenges of the education sector including ASUU strikes. Eight months, student were at home doing nothing and they are the public and we are the public servants. In the budget of 2023, the overhead is 43 per cent. If you can spend N8.3 trillion on public servants, why don’t you spend N1 trillion in public universities?”