From Esther Akaa, Lafia
The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Nasarawa State University, Keffi chapter have called for quick implementation of agreements reached between the Federal Government and the unions, since 2009, in order to avoid industrial action.
The two unions made the call on Tuesday when they joined their counterparts across the country in a peaceful protest which they said will last till Thursday to send warning signals to the Federal Government to address their issues.
The Chairman, Joint Action Committee (JAC), Comrade Zubairu Adamu, while addressing newsmen in Keffi, said since 2009, the federal government and officials of JAC had reached an agreement on the implementation of demands agitated for by the two unions which government has delibrately failed to implement.
According him, government had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), but to their dismay has failed to consider even one aspect of the agreement, hence, the protest to enable them press home their demands.
He added that they were expecting the payment of their Earn Allowances, which was started but stopped in 2001, to the tune of about N40 billion.
“We have met severally with the government, even to the point of undertaking a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and you ought to know that reaching point is not just one party, but between all concerned coming together to agree on terms which we did.
“The issues were outlined and tabled out between the two parties, but to our greatest dismay, government on her part failed to consider even one aspect of that agreement,” Zubairu said.
He, therefore, called on the government to always treat issues concerning their employees with respect and honesty, as well as prioritise issues that are not beyond their ability, in order to avoid conflict and agitations.
Also speaking, the branch Chairman, NASU Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Comrade Yunana Usman, said there were series of challenges faced by the union, which he pointed out to be non payment of salaries among others.
He said: “The state government had promised to take over the payment of our salaries, yet has became a near impossibility for the government keeping to the promise.
“As I talk with you, we are yet to receive our December, 2020 salary. We held a meeting with the management over the matter and they travelled down to Lafia two days ago, but what we got was that government said they are not going to pay us, for two reasons.
“One, that academic staff have been on strike and they still pay them salary, so for that reason, they are not going to pay us, while acknowledging the fact that we have been coming to work, but they however, said that because we (NASU) have refused to comply by filling the biometric forms (IPPIS).”
Contributing, the Deputy National President, NASU and the Chairman Universities and Inter-University Centre in Nigeria, Comrade Suleiman Buhari said, in solidarity with the unions on the peaceful protest, they held a meeting of the National JAC last Friday in Abuja and reviewed the MoU which was signed by both the federal government and JAC of NASU and SSANU.
He, however, said that it was discovered at the meeting that all the contents therein the MoU was not adhered to by the government.
“So we called on all the branches through a circular to mobilise their members for 3 days peaceful protest across the various universities campuses in the country,” Comrade Suleiman stated.