Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Varsity Workers Threaten Strike Over Unpaid Allowance

SENIOR Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, has given the Federal Government up to the end of January, 2013 to pay members unpaid Earned Allowance, to avert a protracted industrial unrest in the nation's university system.

Western zone of SSANU in a meeting at the Delta State University, DELSU, Abraka, Delta State, decried the failure of the government to fully implement the agreement reached with its workers since 2009.

Members in a communiqué issued at the end of its 43rd Zonal Executive Council, lamented that the government did not appreciate the efforts of the union at sustaining industrial peace in the Nigerian public universities in spite of the intense pressure from members over the non-payment of the allowance as contained in the agreement signed with the university non-teaching unions in 2009.

The communiqué said members were also sad by the report of the meeting between the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and the Minister of Education, Professor Ruquyat Rufai, with the unions over the matter, describing it as falling far below expectation.

They expressed outrage at the "highly biased report of Prof. Yakubu Committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Public Universities" and called on the Federal Government to be weary of the report which implementation is capable of throwing the university system in the country into disarray."

SSANU described the observations, findings and recommendations of the committee as an "armchair analysis or an outright mis-representation of fact, to work to a pre-determine answer."

They rejected all perceived negative recommendations of the Prof. Yakubu led committee against the non-teaching staff of Nigerian universities and challenged him to come up with its findings on Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of the universities and how they are being utilized by the chief executives of the universities.

SSANU members challenged Yakubu to come up with a comparative analysis of the quantum of money being spent on both salaries and trainings of teaching and non-teaching staff in Nigerian public universities.

The decried the unabated corruption index of Nigeria despite the much talk-about fight against corruption in the country and called on the government to stop paying lip service to corruption and take it more seriously by beaming the searchlight to all the structures of governance and government parastatals, ministries and agencies with a view to blocking all leakages, release recovered looted funds for developmental projects to create more job for Nigerians and take good care of Nigerian workers.

The communiqué added that members condemned the state of insecurity in the country with bomb explosion in some part of the North and kidnap as well as oil theft and bunkering in the South.

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