11 February 2013

Nigeria: Unions Direct Varsity Workers to Prepare for Strike

Lagos — THERE are strong indications of a looming industrial unrest in the nation's university system over government's failure to fully implement the 2009 agreement signed with the varsity workers and the report of the committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Public Universities, which allegedly concluded on massive retrenchment of non-teaching staff in the university system.

Vanguard gathered that the National Association of Academic Tehnologists, NAAT, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU have directed all their branches to commence mobilisation of all their members for an indefinite strike.

Under the Joint Action Committee of NAAT, NASU and SSANU, Vanguard was informed that the directive was contained in a memo sent to all the branch chairmen in government universities across the country following the meeting of the Joint Action Committee held at NASU national secretariat, at the weekend.

According to the memo, entitled: 'Update on the 2009 Agreement and Needs Assessement Report,' by NAAT President, Comrade Sani Suleiman, NASU President Comrade Ladi Iliya and the SSANU President, Comrade Samson Ugwoke, "Based on the above development, all branches are hereby directed to commence mobilisation of members towards possible indefinite strike, while you await further directives."

"The uninterrupted academic calendar that had existed in Nigerian public universities in the last three years is being threatened.

"This is as a result of the failure of the government to fully implement the 2009 Agreement and our Joint Action Committee's (JAC) rejection of the report of the committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian public universities with the conclusive purport of massively retrenching and marginalising the non- teaching staff."

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