The National President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Mohammed Ibrahim, says the union might embark on an industrial action if the Federal Government does not listen to their demands.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) had earlier on Tuesday commenced a three-day nationwide protest over irregularities in Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) payments, non-payment of earned allowances, non-payment of arrears in minimum wage among other issues.
Ibrahim, who explained that strikes are not abnormal in the labour laws, said it is the last option. “We don’t jump on strikes, we go on strike when it becomes inevitable, so I will not foreclose that if the government doesn’t listen (which I don’t want to believe because engagements have started), we will go on strike”, he added.
The ongoing protest, he said, is aimed at sensitising the Federal Government to their demands.
Ibrahim said after the three-day protest, JAC will meet, appraise the situation and let the world their next line of action.
“We normally appraise situations. After day three of this protest, we will assemble in Abuja and appraise the situation. We will get our reports from the branches. The major aim of our protest is to sensitise the government for them to know that there is a problem and the problem is that they are not honouring agreements. From agreements, we have moved to MoUs”, he further said.
He also assured that whenever SSANU and NASU meet, any decision taken will be in the best interest of the system and their membership.
The university workers are also protesting the sharing formula of the N70 billion given the universities by the Federal Government. They insist that the 75per cent and 25 per cent sharing formula for the earned allowances does not favour their members.
Other issues include the delay in the renegotiation of FGN, NASU and SSANU 2009 agreement, non-payment of benefits of retired members, neglect and poor funding of state universities, and non-constitution of visitation panels for universities.
Members of the union who joined in the protest include the workers in the Federal University Of Technology, Owerri, Imo State; the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, Benue State capital; the University Of Ilorin, Kwara State capital, the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Lagos State, and other institutions.