NASU seeks unification of Nigerian labour centres
• Bemoans non-payment of peculiarity allowances to members
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to lead the process of unification of the organised labour into one indivisible entity.
The National President of NASU, Chris Ani, who gave the charge in Abuja during the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union, argued that a strong and virile unified labour centre would be in a better position to champion better condition of service for the Nigerian workers. He added: “We strongly believe in the unification of all labour centres into one strong and virile labour centre that will be able to deliver on the mandate of Nigerian workers. We urge the NLC to take the driver’s seat in the effort for the unification of the labour centres in Nigeria into one formidable united front.”
While NASU called on state governments to implement the peculiarity allowance to non-teaching staff employed in primary post-primary educational boards, it urged its members to mobilise against state governors that are not sympathetic to welfare of workers.
Ani said: “NASU members in primary, post-primary and technical education boards across the length and breadth of Nigeria have suffered tremendous hardship as a result of the refusal of some state governments to accord the payment of salaries the priority it deserves. While commending the affected NASU members for their resilience and perseverance, we use this medium to urge all NASU members that have been negatively affected by non-payment of salaries in some states to ensure that they join other workers in their states in voting out of office such governors and their parties in the forthcoming election with a view to replacing them with those who will treat the payment of salaries as a priority. NASU member are therefore advised to use their Personal Voter Card (PVC) wisely as any attempt to return these insensitive politicians will amount to voting for continuous hunger and non-payment of salaries for another four years.”
The union commended the Federal Government for inaugurating renegotiation committees for the polytechnics and Colleges of Education, but was quick to express its disappointment at the committee, which have failed to meet since inauguration.
The NASU President lauded the Federal Government for approving additional N8billion for the payment of earned allowances to non-teaching staff in the universities.He urged the federal ministry of Education to facilitate the process of the disbursement of the fund to the members of the three unions in the universities and inter-university centres as soon as possible.
The union admonished the government to put an end to the non-payment of earned allowances by ensuring that henceforth the allowances are paid monthly and provision is made for the allowances in the 2019 budget.NASU also called on government to put an end to the payment of salaries in percentages to staff of universities in line with the memorandum of understanding entered into with the three non-teaching unions in the education sector.
The union said it is appalled by the nonchalant attitude of the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe and other Ministers whose ministries supervise research institutions in the country.
It added: “The lukewarm attitude shown by them on issues bothering on the welfare and conditions of service of staff of the sector does not indicate that they are interested in research and development of the country.
NASU equally expressed dismay over the declining funding of education sector in the last couple of years, saying, “the problem of brain drain, lack of adequate incentives and motivation for workers, as well as students’ unrest, which are some of the challenges in the sector, are all associated with lack of adequate funding.”