Inter-varsity centres vow to prolong strike over unpaid arrears
63 Institutions on strike for two months
The four inter-university centres in the country have vowed to continue their two months old strike until their arrears are paid.The four Inter-university centres are: Nigeria French Language Village, Ajara, Badagry, Lagos State, Nigeria Arabic Centre, Gamburu Ngala, Borno State, National Mathematics Centre, Abuja and the Nigeria Institute of Nigeria Languages (MINLAN).
Speaking in Abuja on the industrial disagreement between their umbrella body – the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institution (NASU) – in Abuja, the Deputy President/Chairman Universities/Inter-University Trade Group Council, Godfrey Ugwu, explained that unless the Federal Government pays about N66 billion outstanding earned allowances, there would be no full-scale academic activities in all the federal owned universities and Inter-University institutions across the country.
Ugwu, who spoke during an emergency meeting of the Joint Action Committee of NASU, expressed shock and dismay that despite the fact that the strike which commenced on 4th December 2017, seven weeks ago, has paralysed activities in the universities and Inter-University Centres across the length and breadth of Nigeria, the Federal Government remains insensitive and unconcerned.
Ugwu urged the Federal Government to take immediate action towards addressing the issues in dispute with a view to ending the on-going strike in the universities and Inter-University Centres. The emergency meeting also condemned all attempts and efforts by some Vice Chancellors to intimidate, witch-hunt and victimise NASU members in the universities for ensuring total compliance with the directive of JAC National body.
The NASU trade council explained that the strike is not directed towards any Vice Chancellor but against the Federal Government of Nigeria to enable the workers obtain their legitimate rights.
It insisted that the strike is a legitimate one saying, “the council-in-session took note of the report of the National JAC in respect of the meeting held on 19th December 2017 chaired by the Minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwuka, where the government admitted short changing the non-teaching staff and government said effort was in progress to get additional funds to pay the non-teaching staff earned allowances. Council therefore call on the government to release additional fund sot pay the non-teaching staff and redress the injustice inflicted on them.”
In a related development, the research and project trade group council of NASU has offered its support to the on-going strike action.Deputy President and Chairman of the council, Wakili Tijani, conveyed the support after an emergency meeting of the group in Abuja.
The Council commended all the branches in the Trade Group for diligently prosecuting the Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions (JORIASU).The council also lauded the General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi for spearheading the struggle, providing leadership and coordinating activities that have guaranteed success to the present stage.
There are 63 institutions that are presently on strike, which is unparalleled in the history of the country. There are 20 Institutes under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; 23 Institutes under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education; two Institutes under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment; two under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Health; two under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources; three institutes under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel; one Institute under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment; one Institute under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs; one under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Transport; one Institute under the supervision of the National Sports Commission; two Institutes under the supervision of the Budget and National Planning Commission; and three Institutes under the supervision of the Presidency.
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