14 February 2013

Nigeria: We Will Paralyse Entire University System If...SSAMU

Lagos — The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), will on Feb. 22 determine its next line of action after mobilising its members to prepare for a possible industrial action, a unionist says.

Mr Alfred Jimoh, the National Vice President of the South-West Zone of the union, spoke in Lagos on the possible strike in a telephone interview on Thursday.

"The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the union will be meeting next week Friday and after then, we shall come out with the next line of action," he said.

The body had earlier mobilised its members to prepare for a possible industrial action as a means of pressing home their demand for the Federal Government's full implementation of a 2009 agreement it entered into with SSANU.

The body urged the government to jettison a report submitted by the NEEDS Assessment of Nigerian Public Universities Committee, saying, "is unfavourable".

According to Jimoh, the committee report recommended that non-teaching staff in Nigerian universities should be transferred to either the state ministries of education or the Federal Ministry of Education.

Jimoh said that the report recommended a stop in the employment of non-teaching staff in the Nigerian university system for the next five years.

He described the report as cruel and untenable and called on the Federal Government to jettison it, noting that non-teaching staff were vital to the running of the university system.

"We have been patient enough on these issues but government does not seem to take us seriously.

"We will therefore cripple the entire university system in the country if government does not accede to our demands," Jimoh said.

The union had on Dec. 11, 2012, embarked on a one-week warning strike over the non implementation of the 2009 agreement.

The Presidential Review Committee on the Report of the NEEDS Assessment in the Nigerian public universities, last month raised a Technical Committee that will review the recommendations and come out with workable solutions.

The committee was given two weeks to submit its report. NAN

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