NASU seeks government, private investment in library services
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has urged the private sector to invest and support public libraries to boost education in the country.
In a communiqué issued at the end of regular meeting of examination bodies and libraries trade union group of NASU, which held at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) Hall, Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State, the Council-in-Session expressed worry over the neglect of public libraries in Nigeria.
It noted that most public libraries are in a deplorable state as a result of inadequate facilities, poor funding and under-staffing of the national and state libraries.
The communiqué, which was signed by the Chairman and Secretary, Examination Bodies and Libraries Trade Group Council, Sunday Obabunmi and E.O Amalu respectively, argued that libraries, as conveyors of knowledge, are important contributors to the efficient running of private enterprises and the overall economic development of the country.
The Council-in-Session, therefore, called on the federal and state governments to prioritise the education of the citizenry by increasing budgetary allocations to education to accommodate standard and adequately funded libraries to complement the nation’s educational institutions.
The Council-in-Session observed with dismay, the non-implementation of the new national minimum wage of N30,000 for workers by some state governments since 2019 when the law came into effect.
The council expressed worry that some state governors have not approved the payment of the new minimum wage while most of them approved partial implementation or even reneged on the already approved implementation of the minimum wage despite the increasing devaluation of the Naira.
Council-in-session called on the defaulting state governors to urgently implement or restore the full minimum wage and the consequential adjustments for all grades of workers, as anything contrary to this is unlawful and a breach of the Minimum Wage Act, which can lead to industrial unrest in the affected states.
While commending the interventions of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) in improving the standard of facilities in the education and associated institutions, NASU was quick to note that such impacts are not felt in libraries, which play a vital role in research and improving the reading culture of the students in the education institutions.
The council urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, facilitate the amendment of the laws establishing TETFUND to accommodate the public libraries in Nigeria.
NASU also decried the reducing number of staff in the employment of the examination bodies as a result of disengagement and retirements without replacements.
It expressed worry over the increasing number of candidates during examinations and the high rate of examination malpractice, which require a reasonable number of examination officers for proper supervision.
The union observed with dismay, the poor management of most of the public libraries where the issues affecting the libraries and the conditions of service of the staff are not properly communicated to the government through the relevant agencies.
Of concern to the union is the managements’ penchant for transferring its executives under the guise of ‘exigency of duty’. It condemned the anti-union policy of such management and viewed it as a ploy towards destabilising the activities of the union.