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Nigerian universities in fresh crisis as non-teaching staff commence nationwide strike today, give reasons

 

The non-teaching staff of Nigerian universities will commence an indefinite strike today in public universities. The staff have also provided reasons for resuming their suspended strike. The staff, members of three unions, NASU, SSANU, and NAAT, announced the commencement of the strike last Thursday in a press statement signed by the national presidents of the three unions.

They said the strike across all public universities will commence today, Monday. The non-teaching staff went on a “comprehensive and indefinite strike” action on September 11 and suspended the strike on September 21 after an agreement with the federal government.

“In one month time, we shall be reviewing the level of compliance with the agreement and shall not hesitate to resume the strike action if government reneges on the agreements reached or delays in any aspects,”

Sam Ugwoke, the National Chairman of the Joint Action Committee, JAC of NASU, SSANU and NAAT said in a press statement on September 21 after the strike was suspended. Premium Times reported how the government and the staff reached an agreement and signed  a memorandum of understanding before the suspension of the strike. The federal government delegation was led by the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige.

Mr. Ngige said then that both parties produced “collective agreement of action” after the meeting in September. The workers, however, said the government has failed to fulfil any of the agreements reached.

‎”It is therefore sad to report that over two (2) months after the MoU was signed, the situation that warranted the strike in September remains the same. Nothing has changed,” they said in their statement on Sunday.

This new strike is believed to have been triggered by the sharing formula approved by the federal government for the recently released N23 billion to universities as earned allowance.

Premium Times exclusively reported details of the sharing formula; with the lecturers, ASUU, receiving ‎about 75 per cent of the funds and the non-teaching staff, 25 per cent. Details, however, varied across the 24 universities that received the fund. The non-academic staff believe they were short-changed in the sharing formula.

The ‘earned allowance’ was part of the N220 billion the government pledged to the schools, which is an integral part of a resolution reached to address the last strike embarked on by unions over the non-implementation of previous agreements.

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