By Victor Ahiuma-Young
UMBRELLA organisation for senior staff associations in the country, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), has expressed concerns over the spate of industrial crises in the nationâ€™s university system.
It argued that the crises had crippled academic activities and called on government to follow the path of honour and holistically address the grievances of the striking workers.
In a statement, TUC decried the continued muscle flexing between the various levels of government and unions representing workers in the universities, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) that has led to the closure of the universities due to strikes.
The statement noted that TUC had always maintained that a nation that does not place value on the moral and educational upbringing of its youths is invariably inviting chaos which in the long run will pay nobody any good.
According to the statement: â€œWe also bemoan the nationwide indefinite strike by these unions which may finally nail the coffin on the decay in our tertiary institutions.
“It is disheartening and worrisome to hear that the Minister of Education, Sam Egwu, lament over the non-performance of the committee set up by government to review and recommend steps to end incessant strikes in the nationâ€™s educational sector, as the failure of the committee is the failure of the Federal Government and all relevant agencies charged with this matter.”
The congress commends SSANU, ASUU and others for their faith in our educational system and for having resisted overtures from operators of private universities that comes with irresistible incentives. As a trade union that champions workers right, we therefore state that the demands by these unions are not self serving, but patriotically meant to uphold the development of the country.â€
â€œWe therefore call on the federal government to as a matter of national interest and urgency sign its own part of the agreement, as this will restore the much needed peace in our universities.
TUC also commends Sam Egwu for his comment over the recent judgment reinstating five of the forty-nine sacked lecturers of the University of Ilorin. The ministerâ€™s position if implemented we believe will reinforce this present administrationâ€™s belief in the rule of law, especially if all the affected lecturers are reinstated.â€