Update on The Ongoing NASU SSANU Strike
Morning Crossfire on 99.3 Nigeria Info FM deals with the issues relating the warning strike organized by the SSANU - Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities & NASSU - Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities. It started on 16th August and is supposed to last till the 23rd day of August 2019. This warning strike nationwide was organized following the directive of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU to all branch chairmen of the unions across the country. The organizers are demanding N30bn, part of their old earned allowance from 2009 to 2018. They claim that there will be "mother of all strikes" if government fails to agree to their demand.
The strike has been affecting activities in some of Nigeria’s tertiary institutions. It came about because they said that government is failing to accede to their requests. ASUU suspended its own strike about two months ago. The unions previously in the month August given a 14-day ultimatum for government to pay allowances, renegotiating the 2009 agreement. The unions claim that the five-day strike is necessitated by refusal of government to attend to their demands after two weeks of giving notice.
The unions further accused the federal government of complicating matters after having an agreement with SSANU. He also debunked the claim of Dr. Chris Ngige who said in 2017 that the federal government has met all the demands of the three University Unions. In a quote read by Wemimo, Ngige stated, “the government has not only fully met all the 12-point conditions raised in the memorandum of settlement reached with the non-teaching staff of federal universities in September 2017, but has also complied faithfully with the timelines for the implementation of the agreement.”
Yusuf claimed that as a politician, Ngige bugled the agreement. Former president Goodluck Jonathan released money to the universities. “He didn’t release money to a particular union,” says Yusuf. “So Ngige bugled the agreement and that is why we find ourselves where we are.
Chris Ngige is the returning minister of labour and that in itself looks like a heavy fog on the horizon. Will he accede to the request of the unions this time? The unions detest Ngige’s second coming, believing this to be continued problem.
Yusuf Ademola reveals that all the agitations of strikes now and then mean that things are not going well within the educational system in Nigeria. “If within us we continue to have crisis, which is caused by the federal government something is wrong somewhere.”
He outlined the three gray areas that need to be dealt with. They are full implementation of the agreement and allowance, reinstatement of primary school teachers as directed by court of law in Nigeria, and renegotiation of the agreement.
According to Yusuf, the federal government has taken SSANU to court and the pronouncement that came out favored SSANU. “Meanwhile, the federal government did not appeal the judgment. But up till now the federal government has failed to reinstate these primary school teachers back. Some of them are dead, some were sacked. See, we have been deceived before and we don’t like strikes and we are parents who have students and we don’t want them to be at home. But in a situation where we are pushed to the wall, we can’t help. We want something concrete.”
What is the best way to engage FG to show firm commitment towards resolving the issues raised by the unions?
Watch the program and leave a comment.
Achike Chude - Policy and Development Expert/Public Affair Commentator
Comrade Yusuf Ademola - Former Vice-Chairman SSANU University of Lagos.
Comrade Anthony Eliagwu - PRO SSANU University of Lagos
#MorningCrossfire with @wemimospot @SheriffQuadry
Written by Jude Chukwuemeka