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National Universities Commission

SSANU, NASU threaten full strike over non-implementation of 2009 agreement

The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (SSAN) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) had on Friday urged the Federal Government to honour their 2009 agreement so as to avoid a total strike. The two unions made their stand on this matter known while addressing a joint press briefing at SSANU secretariat, main campus, Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State.

SSANU branch Chairman, Mr Iliyasu Abdur-Ra’uf-Bello said the five-day warning strike presently embarked upon by the two unions was as a result of failure of the Federal Government to implement the 2009 union/Federal Government agreement. “I have the pleasure to address the press on why SSANU and NASU are on a five-day warning strike, this is as a result of government inability to meet, implement or enforce the 2009 union/Federal Government agreement. This agreement was signed in 2009. Ten years into this agreement, we are still dilly-dallying, we are neither here nor there in the implementation of the content of this agreement.

And the most worrisome aspect of it is that, recently, Federal Government released the sum of N25 billion to universities to defray part of outstanding earned allowances owed by government to the staff.” The Chairman cried out that out of the N25 billion released by the Federal Government to universities, only 20 per cent of it was accesaible and given to the three non-teaching unions of Nigerian universities. “Only 20 per cent of it, which translate to N5 billion was given to the three non-teaching staff unions in the universities, while ASUU was given 80 per cent which amounts to N20 billion.”

Also according to him, this principal action by the government was not only embarrassing but insulting and practically unacceptable, and that was one of the reasons the warning strike was on. Moreso, about the position of staff schools, the Chairman recalled that in December 2016, there was a ruling at the National Industrial Court on the status of staff school as contained in the agreement the union had signed with the Federal Government. He said the court ruled in favour of the union, affirming that what was contained in the agreement between the union and the Federal Government should be upheld. Abdur-Ra’uf-Bello said the ruling of the court states that: the recurrent and the capital expenditure of University Staff School should be carried by the Federal Government, arguing that “up to today, three and half years already, the Federal Government has refused to implement that ruling.” The Chairman also said the court ruled too, that most of the members that had their appointment terminated in their various universities should be called back or reinstated.

He, however, said several firm efforts made by the union leaders to convince the government to direct the respective Vice Chancellors to reinstate the laid-off staff had not yielded any fruitful result. The Chairman recalled that some weeks before now, the union members had embarked on a protest by drawing their roadmap on how to carry out what he described as a strategic and organised protest. Abdur-Ra’uf-Bello said they have started with the protest and has now resolved to go on five days warning strike, affirming that the next action would be an indefinite, extensive and total strike.

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