Following perceived marginalization of unions in Nigerian universities by the Federal Government, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the non-teaching staff unions, Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, yesterday, asked the federal government not to kill university education in the country.
The federal government recently approved N30billion for the payment of arrears of earned allowances for ASUU, SSANU, NAAT and NASU.
Of this N30billion, 75 per cent has been earmarked for ASUU alone while the remaining paltry sum of 25 per cent will be paid to SSANU, NASU and NAAT.
At the end of a rally in Site Two of the university in Abraka, the unions-Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), rejected the 25 per cent payment, saying that such move could destroy tertiary education in the country.
The Chairman of SSANU-DELSU, Comrade Monday Izu, on behalf of JAC (SSANU, NAAT and NASU), observed that eduction was a pillar of development, regretting that the federal government is treating it as ' a wrap of faeces'.
Izu said: " What the government is trying to do by giving 75 per cent of the arrears of earned allowances to only ASUU can weaken or destroy what university education stands for.
" Education is the pillar of development in any clime, but it is unfortunate that the Nigerian government is treating it as a wrap of excreta.
" The federal government approved N30billion for the payment of arrears of earned allowances that it is owing workers' and chose to give 75 per cent of this earned allowances to only ASUU, and earmarked 25 per cent to SSANU, NASU and NAAT.
" Clearly, in the mind of the federal government, SSANU, NAAT and NASU amount to a paltry sum of 25 per cent of the system. Is that what we stand for? He asked members of the union amidst a resounding No.
" Besides this, the FG is paying arrears of salaries earned that it is not paid to the staff. As of today, the earned allowances are yet to be implemented in federal universities. The government should implement it with immediate effect.
" It will interest you to note that the agreement we signed with the federal government in 2009, that ought to have been due for a review three years after, the government is dragging its foots on the ground."
The unions, therefore, urged the federal government to rescind its decision to pay it 25 per cent in the interest of equity and fairness, as it would not allow such injustice to unnoticed.
Vanguard News Nigeria