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Education sector without Minister, makes no difference – SSANU

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…Fixes NEC meeting for next week

By Dayo Adesulu& Marie-Therese Nanlong

AUTHORITIES of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU has said that the absence of Minister of Education in the sector makes no difference in meeting their needs, adding that when Mallam Adamu Adamu was the minister, he practically did nothing about their demands.

Buhari, Nigeria, ministerial appointments
President Muhammadu Buhari

SSANU, National Public Relations Officer, Mr Abdussobur Salaam who spoke with Vanguard on phone yesterday said: ‘’Adamu Adamu showed too much of cold feet and a lot of complacency in addressing issues.’’

He said it appears that it was the people from the Ministry of Education, especially the permanent secretary that assisted them in the past.

He said: ‘’As far back as 2015 November, the very week Adamu Adamu assumed the duty, we had a meeting with him on the issues of earned allowance and staff school and after three and haft years, we are still on the same spot unattended to. The issue is not just having a minister but having a minister that would do what is right.’’

Salam who stated that government is a continuum said some of the issues in contention were in the past which did not receive the cooperation it ought to receive from the former minister of education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.

He said: ‘’We cannot say because there is no ministry of education, people in the ministry would not work. As far as we are a concern there is somebody in charge of the Ministry which is the Permanent Secretary.

Also read: Tertiary education: FG releases N16.8bn to settle outstanding arrears

‘’It appears to us that it was even the people from the Ministry of Education, especially the permanent secretary that assisted us in the past. As far as we are a concern the absence of education minister makes no difference.

‘’Right now, whatever we are doing is in phase approach. Whoever becomes a minister would know that is the first thing he must address.’’

Meanwhile, Salaam disclosed that the National Executive Council (NEC) would be meeting next week to determine the next line of action, as the warning protest ended yesterday on the various campuses.

He said: ‘’ The Senate deliberated on our issues but we have not received any formal invitation from the government during and after the protest. ‘’With the passage of time, it may be inevitable that we  have a total or comprehensive strike.’’

You will recall that on Monday, SSANU and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU)  had directed its members in all public universities to proceed on three days warning protest over non-payment of their academic welfare package.

The unions were specifically displeased over the sharing formula of 80 to 20 in favour of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the N25 billion recently released by the Federal Government to Nigerian Universities. Rounding up the warning protest yesterday at the University of Jos, the unionists carrying placards, called on the federal government to honour all agreements signed with them since 2009. They lamented what they called the “divide and rule” tactic employed by the federal government in dealing with Unions within the Universities saying such was unacceptable.

Addressing journalists before embarking on the protest, the UniJos Chapter Chairperson of SSANU, Comrade Esther Ezeama and her NASU counterpart, Comrade Bitrus Dagwer said enough had been said about the segregated treatment given to them and called for a positive change of attitude by their employers.

Ezeama said: “We are protesting the injustice meted on us by the federal government, our members are being marginalized and treated as second fiddle. The federal government is being biased and we are tired of the lip service by the government, the agreement signed with us since 2009 should be honoured.

“We are calling for equity and justice, the renegotiation we asked for is long overdue and our peculiarities must be considered in the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS so that we are not short-changed in any way.”

Dagwer added: “N30billion was supposed to be released for our earned allowance, how much is that amount compared to what the National Assembly is getting, the National Assembly should do the needful for the Universities, we are not second class citizens.”

He also called on the respective universities to honour the Industrial Court order and absorb staff of their respective staff schools and pay them their entitlements, adding, “The attitudes of the Universities Management over the non-implementation of the court judgement on University Schools is embarrassing. The court judgement should be obeyed immediately, failure of which would prompt appropriate reactions from the Unions.”


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