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ASUU Prepares As Non-academic Staff Begin Strike Today

04 July

Reported by Ayooluwa Afolabi

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) are set to commence a nationwide strike today due to withheld salary arrears of their members.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU had, on June 20, 2024, sent a letter to the minister of education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, informing him that their members would begin a work boycott in two weeks if their demands were not met.

In a letter jointly signed by NASU General Secretary Prince Peter Adeyemi and Mohammed Ibrahim, the unions accused the government of neglect and insincerity.

They lamented that despite the promises made by the ministers of education and labour and employment to pay the arrears, the federal government had continued to “dribble us, even after the mutual agreement to suspend the one-week warning strike in March this year.”

This is just as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is mobilizing all its branches nationwide for a strike despite high-level discussions with the minister of education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, about one week earlier.

According to LEADERSHIP, ASUU branches across the federation are actively mobilizing their members in anticipation of a directive from its national body to embark on strike.

LEADERSHIP reports that the federal government and the lecturers’ union had penultimate Wednesday ended their closed-door meeting with an agreement that all contentious issues will be amicably resolved to avert a strike.

ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, who led the union’s team, after the meeting said the negotiation process had begun and expressed the hope that the federal government would follow up on what had been agreed on.

But the union, in an interview with the LEADERSHIP, lamented that all the issues that led to the eight months’ strike had not been addressed by the government.

According to the union, some of the issues are the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, the backlog of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), and outstanding salaries.

The branch chairman of ASUU, University of Abuja, Dr. Sylvanus Ugoh, said his branch was fully mobilized and waiting for a directive from the national.

“You will recall that the union has been mobilizing all the branches because of all the issues that led to the eight-month strike; they still need to be resolved.

“The federal government has yet to solve any problems: from revitalization to renegotiation to payment of EAA, outstanding salaries, or third-party deductions.

“So, the union is mobilizing for action. The University of Abuja is fully mobilized, and we are ready any time the national secretariat gives such a signal,” he said.

Meanwhile, a source at the Federal Ministry of Education, who does not want his name mentioned because he was not authorized to speak to the press, said the government is trying to resolve the issues promptly and maintain stability within the educational sector.

“The ministry is engaging in intensive consultations with related parties to avert ASUU strike,” he said.
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