Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has expressed displeasure over the decision of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) members in the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, to stick to the ongoing strike in spite of government’s intervention.
Sule made his feelings known when he hosted members of the state university’s Joint Action Committee in Government House, Lafia, on Wednesday.
He said “after sticking out its (government) neck to accommodate some of the demands of ASUU members in the state university, the union refused to honour their part of the agreement by returning to classes.
“The state government accommodates some of the demands of the ubion in the university, especially by not invoking the no-work-no-pay rule.
“The government also grees to takeover the payment of salaries of staff of the university and the approval of N200 million as part payment of staff accumulated earned allowances”.
He wondered why his administration would fulfil part of the union’s demands as conditions for calling off the seven-month strike but the ASUU members in the university would renege and come out with further conditions.
“We took one-fifth of the outstanding N1 billion outstanding earned allowances and we will pay N200 million on the condition you will go back but if you don’t go back, I can’t be throwing money into unproductive ventures.
“I came from the private sector where people are productive.
I can’t be throwing money into an unproductive environment.
It just doesn’t make sense,” Sule said.
Sule said it was not the fault of government that NSUK staff were being owed two months.
He explained that his administration had continued to remit its monthly subvention to the university but the university had failed to augment by generating internal revenue as a result of the ongoing strike.
“For us, as a state, we have continued to give you the normal amount that we have been giving you but the university could not generate any internal revenue to complement.
“That is why you are two months behind.
If the strike continues, it may stretch to three, four or even six months,” he stated.
The governor, therefore, called on the Joint Action Committee of the university to appeal to ASUU to see reason and call off the ongoing strike.
Sule said that his administration would continue to take steps towards ensuring that the state university remained among the best universities in the country.
Earlier, Chairman, Joint Action Committee of the Nasarawa State University Keffi Simon Yakubu said they were at the Government House to appreciate the governor for what he has been doing for the university.
He thanked the governor for his initiatives in the educational sector of the state, especially the ongoing employment across all the tertiary institutions in the state.
Yakubu also appreciated the governor for approving N200 million as part-payment of their earned allowances.
He also stated some of their pressing demands for the attention of the state government, including the payment of the members’ two months salary arrears.
“Pay the two months outstanding salaries, implement consequential adjustment for minimum wage and develop infrastructure, among others,” he told the governor.
The state university’s Joint Action Committee comprises the Non- Academic Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists.
The Management of Plateau State University, Bokkos, has declared a `no-work, no-pay’ policy on its striking workers.
This is contained in a memo signed by the Registrar of the university, Mr Yakubu Ayuba, in Jos on Friday.
According to him, the decision of the management followed the directive by the Governing Council of the university at the end of its 50th meeting held on Sept. 7. The registrar said that the issues that led to the declaration of strike by both the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) of the university in Dec. 2021, had been resolved.
He explained that government had signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with ASUU on Aug. 9, saying that the eight issues that led to the declaration of strike by SSANU had also been resolved.
Ayuba noted that the ongoing strike by the ASUU of the institution was just in solidarity with its national body, hence unnecessary.
”In view of this, the state government and governing council of the university have directed the implementation of `no-work, no- pay’’ policy for members of the two unions who fail to resume work.
”Consequent upon this, the management of the university, acting on the decision of the 50th meeting of the governing council held on Sept. 7, hereby requests members of ASUU and SSANU to resume at their duty posts in the university on Thursday, Sept. 8. ”Failure to do so management will be paying the salaries of only those who resume and subsequently, non-compliance with the directive may attract further administrative measures including declaration of redundancy for those considered to have voluntarily withdrawn their services,” he said.
Ayuba said that attendance registers had been stationed at various faculties, departments and units of the university to ensure strict compliance with the directives.
Reacting to the directive, Dr Monday Hassan, Chairman of ASUU in the university, said that his chapter would continue to stand by its national body at all times.
He said that the university had benefited a lot in terms of projects and other interventions through the struggle of ASUU.
”We are standing by our national body of ASUU; there is no going back on this because solidarity is forever.
”Our university has benefitted a lot from the struggles of ASUU in terms of projects executed by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) which is the result of struggle by ASUU,” he said.
The Nasarawa State Government has taken over full payment of staff salaries at the state owned university, Keffi (NSUK).
Gov. Abdullahi Sule made this known while briefing members of the state executive council in Lafia on Thursday.
He said his administration has agreed to takeover the payment of salaries of staff at the university to meet one of the key demands by the local chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“Thus paving the way for the possible resumption of academic activities in the institution.
”“Based on the available finances to the state and especially because of the importance attached to education, my administration has agreed to take over the responsibility of paying salaries of staff at the NSUK, beginning from this month,” he said.
Sule said that, so far, the management of the university, as well as the non-teaching unions; namely the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) have all agreed to open the university.
“One of the conditions they gave to us, the most important condition, is to ensure that we take over the full payment of salaries of all the staff, so that they don’t have to use their IGR.
“As far as we are concerned, we looked at our finances and we strongly believe that, based on the cashflow we have available to us and also because of the importance we attached to education, that we should be able to start that from this month.
“That is what we are looking forward to do.
We are also hoping they will compliment by the moment we start the payment hopefully by Thursday or Friday.
“Then we are hoping to see them also returning to their classes,” he stated.
Sule also disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, National Communication Commission (NCC), through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has donated ICT gadgets to the College of Education in Akwanga.
“They have supplied ICT gadgets from the NCC similar to what they did for us at the Isa Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic, Lafia.
“The advantage COE Akwanga is having is that two servers will be installed, as part of their contribution to education in the state,” he said.
The governor appreciated the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Ali Pantami, for the support, as well as the NCC and NITDA for their intervention.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that on Aug.3, the Chairman, House Committee on Education at the state legislature, Mr Daniel Ogazi, urged the state government to take over the payment of salaries of staff at the university.
Ogazi made the appeal when the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Suleiman Bala, appeared before the committee on its 2022 budget performance assessment.
During the oversight, the vice chancellor appealed for the state government to fully take over the payment of staff salaries as a lasting solution to the university’s financial challenges.
The University of Ilorin (Unilorin) chapters of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) have said they suspended the industrial actions to give the Federal Government time to implement the agreements it reached with the university workers.
Mr Naheem Falowo, the Unilorin-SSANU Chairman, stated this on Monday while fielding questions from newsmen in Ilorin.
Faliwo explained that the decision to suspend the protracted industrial dispute was informed by the need to enable the federal government some time to implement the agreements comprehensively.
He noted that government accepted to put machinery in motion for the onward implementation of all the eight-point demands before it.
The SSANU chairman, who is also staff of the Bursary Department of Unilorin, explained that the government accepted to work towards a remarkable improvement in the welfare of staff of state-owned universities as demanded by the unions.
Also speaking, Mr Ibrahim Suberu, the NASU Chairman of Unilorin, said the federal government equally promised in the agreements voluntarily signed with the unions to implement the agreed percentage increment in the salaries of university staff without any exception as from Sept. 1, 2022. Suberu also disclosed that the government has approved the release of N50 billion for the payment of earned allowances.
He added that the unions were assured the money would be shared among federal government-owned universities for onward payment to all their staff members and without any form of discrimination in its disbursement between the academic staff and their non-teaching counterparts as witnessed in the past.
The NASU chairman pointed out that the sustained efforts of the unions also eventuated in the federal government’s realisation of the absurdities that have characterised the implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payment Information System (IPPIS).
He added that one of the successes of the strike was that the government was now poised more than ever before to have a rethink on the IPPIS as it has empowered a committee chaired by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Issa Pantami.
According to him, this is to harmonise the payment platforms jointly proposed by SSANU and NASU and the one put forward by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Kwara Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it will hold a mega nationwide rally on Tuesday in solidarity with the striking workers in public universities.
This is contain in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin on Monday.
The statement is jointly signed by the State NLC Chairman, Comrade Aliyu Issa-Ore, and Chairman, Rally Mobilisation Committee, Comrade Rafiu Adeniran.
According to the statement, the rally will take off at 7.30 a.m at the state NLC Secretariat beside the High Court in Ilorin.
The statement noted that the rally would fast track quick resolution of the issues that precipitated the lingering industrial action in the university system.
“We are disturbed that the strike had made students in public universities idle.
There is upsurge in crimes mostly perpetrated by the youths.
“We want Federal Hovernment to honour the agreement between it and the aggrieved university workers to end the prolong strike,” said the Kwara NLC.
The statement, however, appealed to affiliate unions of NLC, civil society groups and non-governmental organisations to mobilise their members in large numbers for the rally.
NAN recalls that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) had embarked on industrial action ove demands for improved welfare and infrastructure in public universities, among others.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Non-Teaching Unions has expressed dissatisfaction at the Prof.
Nimi Briggs-led Committee Report submitted to the Federal Government for approval.
The JAC non-teaching unions include the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (NASU).
JAC Chairman, Mr Peters Adeyemi made this known at a news conference on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that SSANU and NASU had embarked on strike for over four months over non-implementation of agreement reached with the unions.
The Briggs Committee was constituted in March by the Federal Government to oversee the negotiations with the four university-based unions and the committee had submitted its report over a month ago.
Adeyemi, who is also NASU General Secretary, alleged that the unions were aggrieved that Briggs-led committee’s negotiations processes were biased and their members were not dully involved.
He said that NASU and SSANU had only two meetings with the Briggs committee since it was constituted.
According to him, it was shocking to say the least that while we have not even commenced discussions on salary review and other allowances.
“We received reports that the committee had gone ahead to submit a report to the Federal Government recommending a 10 per cent increase for Non-Teaching Unions.
“We find the committee as not being transparent and open so far, ’’he said.
He said after the first meeting, the two unions – NASU and SSANU independently were compelled to create the impression that the committee appeared not to have had its mandates clearly spelt out by the government.
The JAC chairman noted that the two meetings held with the Briggs committee with the unions, there were no deliberations on salary increment and allowances.
“While the NASU and SSANU teams had presented Memorandum of Demands that included proposal for salary review along with appropriate salary tables.
“The committee had pleaded that the two unions should take the issue of review of salaries and allowances last.
“This is because we were still interfacing with the relevant government agencies to give them appropriate offers to counter our proposals on salary review, ’’he said.
He therefore said that it should be stated clearly that SSANU and NASU rejected any salary recommendation that would cause further disparity in the university system.
Adeyemi added that there was already an existing disparity in the system, “which we had always closed our eyes to”.
He said to expand that disparity would be “an invitation to the greatest level of anarchy and industrial unrest ever witnessed in the university system.” He however urged NITDA to accelerate the processing and come up with its findings in order to lay to rest the contentious issues of a viable and enduring payment platform best suited for the Nigerian University system, ’’ he said.
He further stated that it was not the desire of NASU and SSANU to ground the system but was compelled by alleged ill treatment on the university system.
He noted that as of today, out of the eight issues that led to the strike, none of them had been conclusively addressed by government.
“Arrears of Consequential Adjustments on Minimum Wage have only been partially paid, as in many universities, we still have many members who have not been paid,” he said.
Adeyemi said that the Federal Universities of Agriculture had been totally left out as no arrears of earned allowances had been paid.
According to him, white Papers on Visitation Panels have not been released.
Staff School teachers continue to languish despite a court judgment in their favour.
“Our jobs continue to be usurped by Vice-Chancellors as job for the boys and allocated to Academic Staff.
“State universities have been badly hit by poor funding, poor governance and non-payment of salaries to workers spanning into months,’’ he said.
He said that JAC of NASU and SSANU were determined to change the status quo..
“We are remaine undaunted and undeterred in the face of our salaries that have been stopped and threats issued to the unions from various quarters,’’ he said.
He also commended the Nigeria Labour Congress for its various interventions in ensuring resolution of the
The National Union of Civil Engineering Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW) has threatened to shut down activities in the construction industry in solidarity with striking unions in the education sector.
NUCECFWW made the threat in a statement jointly signed by its National President, Mr Stephen Okoro, and General Secretary, Mr Ibrahim Walama, on Friday.
The union said that it was putting its members at alert for the solidarity strike in line with the decision of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
“We wish to state unequivocally that our union shall, in solidarity with ASUU, NASU, SSANU, and in alliance with NLC, shut down activities in the construction industry.
“This is in solidarity with unions in the education sector, to drive home their demands for improved welfare package and effective sustenance of Nigerian universities development goal,” it said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the striking unions in the education sector include Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (SANU).
NUCECFWW expressed worry that the lingering ASUU strike would impact negatively on students’ academic performances.
It said that halting learning for a long time would affect students’ reading abilities.
“As the technology landscape of universities continues to develop, students increasingly depend on them for assistance in the development of skills required in a digital age instead mere content.
“It is common knowledge that the contemporary world is becoming too dynamic for any nation to be left behind the curve of acquiring and appropriating scientific and technical knowledge through higher institutions of learning for all-round development.
“Unfortunately, with strike characterising the Nigerian public university system, it is doubtful to believe that they can measure up to the task of keeping pace with the global trajectory,“ the union said.
It urged the Federal Government to resolve conflicts with ASUU, NASU and SSANU without further delay.
NAN reports that ASUU embarked on strike on Feb.
14 over Federal Government’s non-implementation of a memorandum of understanding and memorandum of action it signed with the union.
ASUU is seeking the government’s commitment to payment of Academic Earned Allowances.
The union is dissatisfied with the government’s refusal to adopt Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution.
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has denied plans to suspend its ongoing industrial action.
The NASU General Secretary, Mr Peters Adeyemi, said this while speaking with newsmen on Monday, in Abuja.
According to Adeyemi, the union will be meeting on Tuesday, in Abuja to consult with its members on the state of the strike.
“The Federal Government has begun paying NASU members the arrears of the consequential adjustment of the national minimum though not all have received the payment so far,,’’ he said.
He, however, noted that no other financial commitment made to the union had been actualised except the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage.
He added that the payment was not enough for the striking workers to suspend the ongoing industrial action.
According to him, there are seven demands which the union has gotten the commitment of the government to implement. There are six outstanding items yet to be acted upon.
“We cannot because of the ongoing payment which is yet to be concluded to be talking about suspension of the strike.
“However, we are consulting with our members. A consultation meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday. But it is very naïve and mischievous for anyone to start saying we are planning to suspend the strike.
“I read in a section of the media that reported that we are planning to suspend the strike on Tuesday.
“Whoever reports that is a paid agent of the Federal Government. Let me use this opportunity to debunk the report,” he said.
On update on the report, Adeyemi, further said that NASU could not take a unilateral decision to suspend the strike.
“As the strike is being prosecuted under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of both NASU and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).
“There are four unions in the universities and inter-university centres that are involved in this struggle.
“How can any reporter claim that NASU is meeting to suspend the strike?
“There is no way NASU can suspend the strike when SSANU is clamouring for an extension of the strike by another one month to allow the government to address our grievances, ”he said.
NASU General Secretary also declined knowledge of another meeting with the Federal Government on the crisis, saying the first meeting was more on concerns of ASUU.
He, therefore, noted that the meeting indeed mandated NITDA to conclude its integrity test for the alternative salary payment platforms proposed by ASUU and the non-teaching unions and report back.
“The Salary, Income and Wages Commission was told to look at the salary structure and report back to the meeting, ’’he added.(
As their strike enters its sixth month, members of the Plateau State University (PLASU) branch of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), have advised Gov Simon Lalong against allowing the University to perish under his watch.
Mr Timnan Rimdap, the branch Chairman, and Fom Dakwak, the branch Secretary, in a statement on Sunday in Jos, recalled that the strike began on December 21, 2021 following the refusal to pay arrears of Earned Allowances and salaries owed its members.
Other reasons for the strike included the discriminatory payment of allowances to SSANU members, failure to constitute the Staff Gratuity Management Board and refusal to allow senior staff of the University attain the peak of their careers.
The union also accused the University management of refusing to sign an agreement it reached with it on the payment of hazard allowance at the agreed rate of N30,000, even after allegedly receiving cash backing from government.
The statement urged the governor to meet the demands of the workers so that they would end the industrial action in the interest of the students.
It called on Lalong to release the N323 million arrears of Earned Allowances owed SSANU members, while payment of salaries and other allowances should be regular.
It also called on the institution’s management to sign the agreement reached with SSANU in February 2022, and to particularly stop truncating members’ professional growth on CONTISS 14.
It called for a quick constitution of the Gratuity Management Board and also urged the institution’s Governing Council to address the discriminatory payment of allowances to SSANU members.
The Federal Government has expressed optimism that the decisions reached at its tripartite plus meeting with the university-based unions would start yielding fruits next week. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by Mr Olajide Oshundun, Head, Press and Public Relations in the ministry. Oshundun quoted the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige as saying this while addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting on the on-going strike by unions in the education sector. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) are currently on strike. Also on strike are the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT). The unions are pushing for improved welfare packages and better working environments. “We had cordial and fruitful discussion; we looked at the issues dispassionately and reached some agreements, to the satisfaction of everybody in attendance”, Ngige said. He said the discussion was moved out of the Labour Ministry to make it tripartite plus because the government brought in some interested parties in a bid to resolve disputes. He said that the parties included the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) headed by the Sultan of Sokoto; Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), led by Rev. Sampson Ayokunle, NIREC co- chairman. “We discussed. Everybody was happy. We reached some agreements and we hope that by next week, those agreements will start maturing. “ The four unions will also go and brief their members, so that they can call off the strike,” he said. The minister also said some issues such as the 2009 agreement as it affects the renegotiation of condition of service and wage review could be concluded next week. The statement also quoted the Chief of Staff to the President and Chairman of the tripartite meeting, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, as informing the meeting that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed him to pilot the meeting. Gambari said the team comprises of the Ministers of Labour, Finance and Education would work with ASUU leaders and stakeholders find a lasting solution to the perennial strikes in our education system. He said that the perennial problems had culminated in the mutilation of the nation’s educational calendar. “Not long ago, we had professors and students from universities in other countries coming to work in our universities. “Not long ago we had a calendar and predictability of when a student enters the university and when he or she can graduate. ”But we all know that all of that have changed and the impact on our education system and even the reputation of our universities has been devastating,” he said. Gambari assured that Mr President was determined to put an end to this negative development by ”We need predictable and quality education so that the human capital required to move our country forward will further be developed in a consistent manner. “It is in this light that the meeting has been convened and I want to commend, on behalf of Mr President, the efforts made by the co-chairs of NIREC in having meetings with ASUU,” he said. In his remarks, according to the statement, Abubakar assured that all hope was not lost in the resolution of the strikes in the university system. “Once we sit together to discuss a problem, we believe that the end is in sight as dialogue is the best option in resolving all issues”, he said. He said as NIREC, they came on board as a show of concern and determination to end the industrial disputes. “I don’t think it will be so beneficial to us that while our children are at home and threatening violence across the country, blocking roads and airports and we as elders sit down watching. “The best thing is to go back to the classroom and we continue negotiation. We will continue sitting together until the final solution is attained. It is not impossible. “There must be a compromise. At the end of it all, there will be no victor, no vanquished. It is important to see us working to put our educational system back on track. “It will be very dangerous to allow our children to sit at home for the next three weeks. That is why we plead with the unions to see the need to call off while we negotiate”, he said. On his own part according to the statement, Ayokunle commended the Federal Government for the confidence reposed on them to be part of the meeting. He said the poor funding of universities was but borne out of long period of neglect, `which snowballed to where things are today’. “If others funded the education sector as much as the present administration had done like this administration maybe we will not be where we are. He appealed to the unions to return to work in the interest of children’s and the future of the country. Also, ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke urged the government to give quality attention to education, saying if it does, all the problems could be amicably resolved very soon. (