NASU threatens resumption of strike over non-implementation of agreement
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU) has threatened to resume its suspended industrial action over non-implementation of an agreement reached with the Federal Government.
The fresh agreement tagged ‘Memorandum of Action’ was reached in Abuja on the February 25, 2021 to halt an industrial action embarked upon by NASU to protest the non-implementation of agreements previously reached with the union.
At its regular meeting, which took place between May 20-21, 2021 at the University of Jos, the Universities and Inter-University Centres Trade Group Council of NASU, noted with dismay the failure of the Federal Government to implement to the letter, the agreement reached with the unions.
In a communique signed by Deputy President, NASU and Chairman, Universities and Inter-University Centres Trade Group Council, Buhari Suleiman and Secretary, ‘Damola Adelekun, the union accused the Federal Government of insincerity in the implementation of the agreement despite some of the agreed issues have timelines, which have expired without government taking actions on them.
It, therefore, urged the Federal Government to urgently implement the agreement or the union will be forced to resume the suspended strike.
In the same vein, the Council-in-session condemned the inability of the renegotiation committee reconstituted by the Federal Government to meet with NASU, since its inauguration in December 2020.
Council noted that the Year 2009 FGN/NASU agreement had lapsed since the year 2012, about nine years ago and that up to date, renegotiation has not fully commenced.
It, therefore, called on the Federal Government renegotiation committee led by Prof. Munzali Jibril, to commence work and put in place necessary arrangements for the renegotiation to commence without further delay.
The Council-in-session noted with dismay, the failure of some state governments to release workers’ contributions under the Contributory Pension Scheme to their respective Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) in clear violation of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) law.
It noted that the action of the affected state governments in this regard portends grave danger for the scheme and retirees covered by the scheme.
Commenting on the proposed salary reduction by the government, NASU frowned at the statement credited to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, proposing a reduction in the salaries of civil servants.
Council considered the statement as inhuman because the current salaries of civil servants are grossly inadequate going by the realities of Nigeria’s economy.
The Council condemned the proposal in its entirety and called on the Federal Government to drop such an idea and sustain industrial harmony in the country.
The union also flayed the petrol price increment proposal by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), saying it received the news with a rude shock as it is least expected of the NGF as representatives of the electorate.
Council noted that the hardship caused for Nigerians by the recent hike in the pump price of fuel cannot be overlooked.
Council also noted that an increase in the fuel price will add more hardship to the lives of Nigerian people.
It called on the Federal Government to desist from any policy that can further increase the hardship Nigerians are already subjected to.
Council also called on the Federal Government to make the refineries functional as promised during the 2015 and 2019 electioneering campaigns.
NASU also frowned at the Kaduna situation which has rendered more than 30,000 workers jobless. Council-in-Session particularly condemned the unlawful act and noted that this is happening when Nigerian workers are still battling with the many negative economic impacts the Covid-19 pandemic has brought on workers.
Council, therefore, called on the Kaduna State government to reinstate all the affected workers in the interest of industrial peace and harmony.
NASU noted that Nigeria cannot achieve sustainable development until the government at all levels prioritize education and research.
“The Council-in-Session decried the miserly funding of the universities and Inter-University Centres by both the Federal and State Governments and noted that any nation that builds its education on a faulty system will crumble on the wheelchair of retrogression and backwardness. Council noted that education is the bedrock of developments and for any Nation to be transformed, the education of its citizenry is essential,” it said.
Council, therefore, called on the Federal and State Government to inject more funds into the education sector as a matter of urgency as the country’s annual budgetary allocation to education is a far cry from the UNESCO recommended allocation of a minimum of 26%.