NASU, others rule out resumption of full activities in varsities
The three non-academic staff unions in the nation’s universities have ruled out resumption of full activities until their N66billion earned allowances are paid.
The General Secretary of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Peters Adeyemi, yesterday in Abuja accused the Federal Government of insincerity of purpose and adopting divisive approach to restore academic activities in the universities.
He argued that the N66 billion outstanding is not too big to be settled within a few days by a serious government that is in a hurry for national development.
“The government should do well by giving what belongs to the non-teaching staff to them so that there will be less money to steal. When government refuses to pay workers entitlements, it unwittingly puts the huge national resources in the hands of looters.”
Adeyemi, who spoke on behalf of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), said the government team spearheading the negotiation had not done enough to halt the strike since it began on the 4th December 2017.
“On the 19th December 2017 when we met the Federal Government, what it said was that it was working silently to get additional money but they did not want that step to be announced.
In fact, if they had matched their words with action, we would not have declared the strike in the first place. But government did not come up with any commitment. We expected government to take responsibility for the skewed payment, but that did not happen. We declared the strike on the 4th December and government did not call us for a meeting until the 19th December 2017.
“That was the first time money was released to the universities and distributed at the level of the ministry under a committee headed by the permanent secretary, leaving bursars out under a government that is fighting corruption and talking about transparency and due process,” He said.
Adeyemi, who is also the Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said the non-academic staff unions expected government to take steps towards addressing the issue within the first two weeks of the strike.