Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, says students affected by the industrial action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) should sue the union as the strike enters 185 days on Thursday.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over the federal government’s failure to meet its demands bordering on the funding of universities as well as salaries and allowances of lecturers.
At a briefing held at the presidential villa on Thursday, the minister was asked if the federal government has plans to compensate students affected by the industrial action.
Reacting Adamu said it is the duty of ASUU to compensate the students, not the federal government.
“We are all hit by this strike action, perhaps because students have to spend an extra one year or two, you can say, they are worst hit. If you had the chance, or the capacity to measure the effect of that on the economy, the economy is also a victim, parents are also victims,” he said.
“It’s a loss for the nation. As far as I know, JAMB will administer examinations, students will use it to process admissions into universities, nothing has changed.
“Who do you assume will compensate students? The federal government? Probably you should take the leaders of strike unions to court to pay them, probably the court will award damages and then, we’ll see how they pay.”
The minister also said the lecturers will not be paid salaries for the six months they are absent from work.
“I think the stand that the government has taken now, not to pay no work done, I think that’s the only thing in the hand of the government to ensure that there’s penalty for some behaviour like this,” he added.
“I believe teachers will think twice before they join strike if they know that at the end, they are not going to be paid.
“The government is not acting arbitrarily. There is a law and I believe this is going to be a strong element to deter many from going on strike.”