By Amaka Abayomi & Ekemini Eyoh
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has commended the decision of the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to mediate in the current face-off between the Federal Government and striking lecturers under ASUU.
In a statement singed by its protem National Chairperson, Segun Sango, SPN, while commending NLC’s intention to mediate in the present face-off between ASUU and the Federal Government, tasked the Congress to go beyond scratching these issues on the surface and call for a mass protest to save the education sector.
“While we welcome the decision of the NLC NEC to intervene in ASUU strike, we feel that the ‘negotiating’ approach of the Congress, rather than helping the striking lecturers achieve their demands, will lead to unwarranted compromise.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is only a small part of ASUU demands that is on allowance. While the Earned Allowances, accumulated over four years, for all categories of university workers, academic and non-academic, is N92bn, the agreement on funding requirement of public universities is N500bn by now and N1.3trn by 2015.
With the terrible conditions of education vis-à-vis collapse of infrastructure and falling standards, it is only appropriate for NLC to mobilise its massive support for ASUU and its demands. To limit the issue of ASUU strike to the ‘interests of students’ is like helping the government to pile up pressure on ASUU and force it to rotten compromises that will neither end the agitations of ASUU nor resolve by any means, the monumental problems facing the education sector.
“Consequently, SPN calls on NLC to begin the mass mobilisation of workers for a 48-hour solidarity strike with mass protests and rallies to compel FG to immediately implement its agreements with ASUU, and adequately fund education with democratic control of elected representatives of workers and students.”