The federal government says it can only afford a 23.5 percent salary increase for lecturers of all categories, except professors.

Adamu Adamu, minister of education, said this on Tuesday at a meeting with pro-chancellors and vice-chancellors of federal universities on the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Speaking at the meeting which held in Abuja, Adamu said aside from the salary increment, the government made other offers regarding the demands of ASUU.

“That the federal government can only afford a 23.5% salary increase for all categories of the workforce in federal universities, except for the professorial cadre which will enjoy a 35% upward review,” he said.

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“That henceforth allowances that pertain to ad-hoc duties of the academic and non-academic staff shall be paid as at when due by the Governing Councils of Universities to which such services are rendered and to the staff who perform them.

“That a sum of N150 billion shall be provided for in the 2023 budget as funds for the revitalisation of federal universities, to be disbursed to the institutions in the first quarter of the year.

“That a sum of N50 billion shall be provided for in the 2023 budget for the payment of outstanding areas of earned academic allowances, to be paid in the first quarter of the year.”

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The minister, however, said ASUU and other unions — Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) — rejected the offer on salary increase.

“The four university-based unions, in separate letters addressed to the chairman of the government re-negotiating team, rejected government’s offer, which they described as inadequate to meet their respective demands needed to tackle the challenges confronting the university system,” he said.

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