Universities in Nigeria are heading for yet another major shut down as University workers have resolved to commence a nationwide strike from Monday, 10th December 2012, over unpaid allowances and job security.
What is sad about this development is not only that it is going to cripple the education sector once again, but the grievance of the workers is over an agreement that has been signed since 2009.
The workers, under the umbrella of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU are concerned over non-implementation of 2009 agreement government entered with them, especially as it concerned earned allowances to non-teaching staff members of SSANU and the planned outsourcing of non-teaching staff in universities.
According to Vanguard, the workers have written to President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Education, the Minister of Labour and Productivity and the National University Commission, NUC stating their grievances and threatening industrial unrest.
Here is an excerpt of the letter:
“We regret to inform Mr. President that up till this time of writing, earned allowances, as contained in the 2009 FGN/SSANU agreement, have not been implemented, despite all pressures mounted on the FGN/Staff Unions Agreement Implementation and Monitoring Committee.
“The National Executive Council at its 20th regular meeting held at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Friday, November 23, 2012, resolved to embark on a week warning strike beginning Monday, December 10, 2012.”
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Univerisites (ASUU) as well, have embarked on strike actions more than a few times over the non implementation of the provisions of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement. The Federal Government also entered into a similar agreement with SSANU called the 2009 FGN/SSANU Agreement and up till now, the provisions of both agreements have not been fully met.
This announcement is very disturbing to students, parents and other stakeholders in Nigerian Universities. It is hoped that President Jonathan would look into the demands made by the University workers and ensure they are met to forestall the strike. Strikes in our Nigerian Universities are indeed one too many.