The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities has threatened to embark on strike if the Federal Government implements aspects of the report of the committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Public Universities that it disapproves.
The union’s Vice-President, Mr. Alfred Jimoh, stated this at a press briefing in Ilorin, Kwara State on Monday.
Jimoh, while speaking on the needs assessment reports, said the union was uncomfortable with the recommended down-sizing of non-teaching staff in the universities.
He, however, stated that the union was not opposed to the NEEDS committee report on infrastructure financing in the system.
Jimoh said, “Of course, we will go on strike if the government goes ahead to implement the ‘satanic’ aspects of the NEEDs report.
“There is no responsible union that will sit down and watch its members being laid off by government like that.
“If the government is bent on doing that, then we will rise up to challenge it as a union that is responsible for the welfare and job security of their members.”
The Chairman of the Western Zonal Research Team, Mr. Olayiwola Salam, in his lecture said sacking non-teaching staff might not address the problem of salaries and wages in the universities.
He claimed that over 70 per cent of salaries were paid to teaching staff in the universities.
Salam, who is the branch Chairman, SSANU, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, said it was unwise that governing councils of universities had no active member from non teaching staff.
He also said universities should be proactive and involve corporate bodies and industries in generating funds.
“For there to be a proper repositioning of the Nigerian public university system, the NEEDS committee report, must of necessity, be discarded by the Federal Government and must not be reckoned with.
“If we have to re-energise our public universities to expected height of glory, the process must start with a serious NEEDS assessment, not a work that is deep with incurable congenital and acquired defects,” Salam said.
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