The Nigeria’s educational system may finally collapse, should the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) eventually carry out their threats and join the ongoing industrial impasse that has seen public universities in the country shut down for three months running.
SSANU has threatened to join the strike action tomorrow over FG’s refusal to pay salary of its members since the industrial logjam started in July, while NUT has equally given government two weeks to resolve the impasse, failure of which could make it close down all the primary and secondary schools in the country.
It will be recalled that academic activities got paralysed in all the nation’s public universities on July 1, except the University of Ilorin and nine newly created federal universities, following the industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the non-implementation of an agreement they entered into with the Federal Government in 2009.
NUT, which is the umbrella body of all teachers at both primary and secondary schools in the country, said at the end of its meeting in Abuja, recently, that it would not hesitate to close down the nation’s schools, should the Federal Government and ASUU “fail to reach agreement after two weeks.”
According to the President of the union, Mr Michael Olukoya, this became necessary to protest the failure of negotiations between ASUU and the Federal Government.
SSANU mobilises members for tomorrow’s strike
Sunday Tribune learnt that the union had fully mobilised all its members in the universities across the country for the commencement of a nationwide strike tomorrow.
The union has issued a directive to all its members to stay away from work as from tomorrow until the salaries are fully paid, as the SSANU President, Mr Samson Ugwoke, also declared that the strike will be total.
The directive was given in a letter dated 27 September, 2013, and addressed to all SSANU branch chairmen in all the universities in the country.
In the letter, written and signed by the General Secretary of SSANU, Mr Promise Adewusi, the workers have been directed not to go back to work until a counter directive is given to them.
No response from FG
Comrade Adewusi stated that the union took the decision, having written letters to vice-chancellors in various universities, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, ministers of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu and Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, as well as the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, which yielded no result.
He regretted that despite that several letters, the two months salaries of their members had not been paid.
The letter read: “On behalf of the National Administration Committee (NAC), the National President hereby directs all SSANU members in all SSANU branches to stay away from work from Monday, 30th September, 2013, until the salaries of our members in all universities for the months of August and September, 2013 are fully paid.”
“This is sequel to our letters Ref: SSANU/NS/VCS/04/12 of 23rd September, 2013 and Ref: SSANU/NS/FML&P/06/13 of 25th September, 2013 to various vice-chancellors, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, ministers of Labour and Productivity and Education as well as the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission. In spite of the two letters, the salaries of our members in most universities remain unpaid for the said months.
“This stay at home directive will subsist until the outstanding salaries are paid and you receive a new directive from the National Secretariat.”
The President of SSANU, Comrade Samson Ugwoke, also told Sunday Tribune in an interview that the strike would be total as the union has already mobilized its members at both state and federal universities, adding that all the members are in support of their action.
Source: Nigeria Tribune.