Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday gave the federal government 21 days to resolve all the issues militating against industrial harmony in Nigeria’s university system. The resolution came after the congress leadership met with the striking affiliate unions in the education sector on Tuesday in Abuja.
In a communique issued yesterday in Abuja jointly signed by NLC national president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and general secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, the congress expressed concern over the idleness and fate of more than 95 per cent of Nigerian students constituted largely by children of the poor who cannot afford to pay the average of N1 million school fees charged by private tertiary institutions.
The congress called on the federal government to immediately set up a high -powered panel constituted of members with requisite mandates to resolve within 21 days the foregoing issues militating against industrial harmony in Nigeria’s university system. In pursuant to the resolution, the Nigeria Labour Congress would be convening a special meeting of the Central Working Committee (CWC) of all the affiliate unions of the congress to decide on the next line of action.
At the meeting in Lagos, Wabba called on all affiliate unions for mobilisation against the protest that can take place without any further warning. Declaring the readiness of NLC to take over the battle from where ASUU had reached, Wabba cited the fate of children of the poor that cannot afford private universities which is causing great pain to the union as reason for the intervention of NLC into the strike.
He expressed concern over, “The fate of more than 95 per cent of Nigerian students constituted largely by children of the poor who cannot afford to pay the average of N1 million school fees charged by private tertiary institutions and who are currently idling away at home while the children of the rich continue with their education.” It would be recalled that ASUU embarked on strike to demand for re-negotiation of the 2009 agreement which is expected to be reviewed every three years.