Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Benin zone, weekend, vowed to continue with the ongoing strike action, accusing the Jonathan administration of not learning from the mistakes of previous governments.
Meanwhile, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU; Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, and the National Associations of Academic Technologists, NAAT, weekend, threatened to resume their suspended strike today over failure of the Federal Government to honour the 2009 agreement entered into with the unions.
Coordinator of Benin ASUU Zone and member of its National Executive Council, NEC, Dr. Sunny Ighalo, who briefed newsmen in Benin, Edo State, said its members will sit at home as long as government remains insensitive to their plight over the agreement it entered with ASUU.
Ighalo, who said the current strike action has been very successful, noted that ASUU would only call off the strike when the Federal Government honours the agreement entered into with it.
He said that part of the agreement was to reposition ailing infrastructure in most of the country’s federal universities and improved welfare of members of the body.
Ighalo said: “It is clear that President Jonathan has not learnt any lesson from the mistakes of past administrations, because ASUU members will not be moved about this threat of no work nopay.
“We know that when the chips are down they will receive all their relevant salaries and entitlements.
Government must be compelled to find solution to the brain drain issue and infrastructure decay in the system.”
Meanwhile, Joint Action Committee, JAC, of SSANU, NASU and NAAT told newsmen in Abuja that Federal Government had established the habit of signing agreements with unions without honouring such agreements.
President of NASU, Mrs. Ladi IIiya, who spoke on behalf of the three unions, said they met on Thursday to deliberate on burning and germane issues affecting their members in public universities and inter-university centres.
She said that at the end of deliberations, it was discoveredthat government was insensitive and not committed to the full implementation of an agreement it freely entered into with them since 2009.
She said Federal Government had, in a letter dated January 24, 2012 by Professor Nicholas Damachi, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, agreed to embark on a systematic increase in the funding of the universities by releasing N100 billion annually to the Nigerian universities system for a period of four years, effective from January 2012.
The three affiliate unions regretted that more than a yearafter the circular was issued, government had not released any money.
They also complained of failure of government to implement the agreement on occupational hazard allowance, responsibility allowance and head of section/unit allowance,which were contained in the 2009 agreement.
JAC said: “The failure on the part of government to commence implementation of this aspect of the agreement and pay up the arrears has resulted in huge arrears spanning over four years.”
The unions lamented that they were fed up with the insensitivity of government, and appealed to Nigerians to “as a matter of urgency prevail on government to address all the burning issues within the shortest possible time.
“If they fail to address these issues, we may not be able to continue to hold our members back from resuming our earlier suspended strike action without notice.”
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