Nigerian universities risk shutdown as workers may resume strike tomorrow
NEWS DIGEST – Indications have emerged that the Non-Teaching Staff in Nigerian Universities may commence strike action tomorrow owning to the alleged failure of the Federal Government to meet an agreement reached with Joint Action Committee (JAC) consisting of NASU, SSANU and NAAT eight weeks ago.
The NEWS DIGEST gathered that the workers through their leadership met in Gwagwalada, Abuja, on Tuesday to determine the next line of action, at the meeting the workers resolved to meet with the Minister of Finance (Kemi Adeosun) and Minister of Education(Adamu Adamu) today.
This Newspaper also gathered that the meeting with the Government officials which will hold today will determine the faith of the Nigerian students, with the Union already vowing to commence strike if nothing comes out of the meeting today.
The NEWS DIGEST contacted the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities OAU branch head, Mr Ademola Oketunde who confirmed that a meeting is set to hold today, he also said that members of the Unions from various varsities are already getting impatient on the perceived negligence of the Government
“It is true that a meeting is set between our leaders in JAC and the Federal Government today, the meeting will decide fate of students, we expect directions by tomorrow from our national office,” he said.
On what is contained in the new agreements with the Federal Government, Ademola said nothing new is in the agreements but major demands of the Union still remain same, in his words: “We are requesting that they pay us the arrears of earned allowance,it has been eigth weeks now and they have refused to keep their agreement,it is very painful that even as a chairman i cannot see my members well again without been accosted,they keep asking me what the latest is because they expect their money but all to no avail”.
He also decried that staff school workers have remained neglected: “We went to the Court to challenge that Staff school workers are not included in the payment structure despite been staffs of the Federal Universities and we won but our surprise remains that the Government still insisted that they wont pay but we reached an agreement without anything”.
Reacting to fate of Students he said, “We expect communication by tomorrow , whatever happens today may lead to strike action or may not, depending on if the olive branch extended by JAC works”.
It would be recalled that the Non-Academic Workers had decried the fact that despite reaching an agreement with it weeks back, the Federal Government has refused to act on the agreement, the workers vowed to go on strike if the situation persists.
The Non-Academic staffs are also contesting suspected bias in sharing earned allowance which according to reports was given out as 89%-11% between Academic Staffs Union of Universities(ASUU) and Non-Academic Staffs(NASU,SSANU and NAAT). A reported 23billion Naira was released by the Federal Government in 2017 for the purpose of allowance.
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