…As NLC Throws Heavy Weight
Nigeria’s tertiary schools may be shut down as more unions in the sector threatens to embark on strike.
After the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) began a one-month warning strike, the national president of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Mr Anderson Umezurike Ezeibe, yesterday charged members to prepare for another round of strike, saying “it is inevitable.”
Only on Wednesday, lecturers in the country’s colleges of education, threatened to begin their own strike to protest the federal government’s non-implementation of the agreements it reached with them.
Ezeibe hinted of the strike while addressing members of the union at Hussain Adamu Federal Polytechnic, Kazaure, Jigawa State, during his visit to the school. Anderson said ASUP had called off its industrial action on June 10, 2021 based on agreements it reached with the federal government but the government reneged on its promises.
“Part of the agreement included: the release of N15 billion for revitalisation of polytechnics and monotechnics and release of money for payment of the arrears of minimum wage, inauguration of Governing council, pay as you earned liability issue. Now it is almost nine months after signing the agreement, but revitalization funds is yet to be released after it’s approved by the President Muhammadu Buhari as well as the minimum wage arrears,” he said.
The president said the union would continue to engage the federal government for the negotiations but they would never allow its members to be taken for granted. Ezeibe said strike is a legitimate instrument of engagement when government fails to honour its words, therefore they are ready to use it if it becomes necessary any moment from now.
He assured the union members that their executives will continue to prioritise their welfare, promote an enabling environment for teaching and learning in polytechnics and mono-technics across the country.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked the federal government to honour the agreements it signed with ASUU. The congress, which yesterday reviewed the state of affairs in Nigeria, expressed concern over the resurgence of “festering” issues of national importance bordering on the welfare of Nigerians.
In a statement issued by NLC president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, he said in order to protect the future of Nigerian youths, whose academic life has been disrupted by warning strike embarked upon by the ASUU, the federal government should implement all the agreements it entered with union. NLC also condemned the current petrol scarcity in the country and lamented that it had exposed millions of Nigerians to avoidable hardships.
The congress also expressed concern over the recent Supreme Court judgement on Executive Order 10 which provided guidelines for the implementation of autonomy for the local government councils, state legislatures and the judiciary.
The union said it respects the judgement of the Supreme Court on Executive Order 10 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari to provide guidelines for the implementation of the autonomy of local governments, state legislatures and the judiciary, but insisted that the verdict did not affect the constitutional provisions on the autonomy of local governments, state legislature and the judiciary.
On the national minimum wage , following a recent agreement with the Kogi State Government on the implementation, only Abia, Cross River, Zamfara and Taraba state governments are yet to commence implementation of the national minimum wage. We demand that the affected states commence implementation without further delay as acting otherwise is tantamount to breaking Nigeria’s law.”
(leadership.ng Except Headlines)