Another Strike Looms In Nigerian Universities
Universities may witness another strike action.
This follows accusation by members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, (SSANU) that the federal government is failing to honour its parts of the agreements with non-teaching staff seven weeks after suspension of its industrial action.
Rising from its National Executive Council meeting at the Bayero University, Kano SSANU appealed to the federal government to implement all agreements it freely signed with Joint Action Committee of NAAT, NASU and SSANU to avert another round of industrial crisis in universities.
In a communiqué by the National President, Samson Chijioke Ugwoke and the National Public Relations Officer, Abdussobur Salaam, SSANU also accused the government of fragrantly disobeying judgment of the National Industrial Court (NIJ) on university staff schools.
The union “warns that Nigerians should not blame the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NAAT, NASU and SSANU if it resumes the suspended nationwide industrial action because seven weeks after the last Memorandum of Understanding signed by government and the unions, government has failed to honour its own part of the bargain”.
It said further “NEC decries a situation where the union followed legitimate processes to correct an anomaly and after judgment was given, government chooses to treat with contempt and implement in breach, as is the case with university staff schools where various offices of government have issued circulars which run contrary to the decision of the court.
“It notes that this development is unbecoming of a democratic government supposedly run under the rule of law and the non-implementation of court judgments by the government is an invitation to anarchy”.
The union also expressed disgust about the proliferation of universities, saying “NEC notes that though the number of universities on ground may have challenges meeting up with the increasing admission needs of the country, the solution is not the proliferation of universities.
“Government should rather improve the funding and infrastructures of existing universities to increase their carrying capacities and the number of students they can admit.”
On the decision of the Federal Executive Council barring federal universities from charging tuition fees, the union said while the decision is commendable, government must find a way of stopping university managements from spreading the fees across other ancillary fees such as Acceptance Fees, Caution Fees, Medical Fees, among others.