The Federal Government has defended the payment of half-salary to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in October.
The union had on Friday described as unacceptable the payment of half-salary to the university lecturers who suspended their eight-month strike on 14 October.
The lecturers during the strike rejected the move by the government to enforce the no-work-no-pay policy in a bid to force them back into the classrooms.
However, in a statement issued on Saturday, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, said the government pro rata the ASUU members’ salaries based on the number of days they worked last month.
The ministry also dismissed insinuations that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, directed the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to pay the university lecturers half-salary for last month.
The statement read: “Following the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which upheld the order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, asking ASUU to go back to work, the leadership of the union wrote to the minister, informing him that they have suspended the strike.
“The Federal Ministry of Education wrote to him in a similar vein and our labour inspectors in various states also confirmed that they have resumed work.
“So, the Minister wrote to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, directing that their salaries should be restored. They were paid in pro rata for the number of days that they worked in October, counting from the day that they suspended their industrial action. Pro-rata was done because you cannot pay them for work not done. Everybody’s hands are tied.”