By Victor Ahiuma-Young

The National Union of Civil Engineering Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers, NUCECFWW, has directed members across the country to fully participate in the Tuesday and Wednesday nationwide protest by Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in solidarity with the striking university workers.

Recall the Unions in the nation’s university system, particularly the the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has been on strike for for five  months and above over unresolved issues with the Federal Government.

In the same vein, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, have equally downed tools for over six months because of pending issues with the Federal Government.

And in keeping with the slogan that an injury to one is an injury to another, state chapters of ASUU, NASU, NAAT and SSANU in the state owned-universities have also been on strike in the same length of time despite the contentious issues affect mostly the Federal Government owned-universities.

In a statement, President and General Secretary of NUCECFWW, Stephen Okoro and Ibrahim Walama, respectively said, “The protracted ASUU strike has been as a result of Federal Government care free attitude towards ASUU, NASU, SSANU demand for the welfare of working people in tertiary institutions and particularly Federal Universities.

“The  NUCECFWW joins other unions to unequivocally condemn the unwillingness of Federal Government to finding solution for  our children to go back to school without further delay because 14th July, 2022 was exactly five months of ASUU strike.  As the strike lingers, students’ academic performance suffers.  We are all parents and should understand that when learning is halted for an such a long time, student’s reading abilities decline

“Recall that as the technology landscape of Universities continues to develop, students increasingly depend on them for assistance in the development of skills required in a digital age instead a mere content. It is common knowledge that the contemporary world is becoming too dynamic for any nation to be left behind the curve of acquiring and appropriating the scientific and technical knowledge through the higher institution of learning for all round development.

“Unfortunately, with the strike characterizing the Nigeria public University system, it is doubtful if the students  can measure up to the task of keeping pace with the global trajectory.

“To say the least, it is apparent that the devastating effects of youths idleness that might be caused by academic paralysis.  This may lead some students being involved in some unproductive activities such as cultism, cyber crime, gambling, gossips, watching films and reading fun materials in the place of important academic materials in this period of strike.

“All the above portend grave consequences, as well as the social ills in the society such as kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, armed robbery and the likes are most of the times, products of idleness. The government should act fast not to reduce their  influence on youths that constitute a greater percentage of the student population in the  Tertiary Institutions.

“We are particularly concerned that instead of addressing the lingering issues in the educational sector, the shameless political class are busy gallivanting all nooks and crannies of Nigeria  campaigning and soliciting for votes  ahead of 2023 general elections without minding the faith of our future generation.

“Our union, NUCECFWW aligns with other trade union movement, Civil Society Organizations’ CSOs, and all well-meaning Nigerians to persuade the Federal Government to urgently address and resolve all gray areas relating to ASUU, NASU and SSANU without further delay.

We wish to state unequivocally that NUCECFWW shall in solidarity with ASUU, NASU, SSANU and NAAT and in alliance with NLC, we shutdown activities in construction industry in solidarity with unions in the education sector to drive home their demands for good governance, welfare package and effective sustenance of Nigerian Universities and sustainable development goal.

“By this press release, we wish to inform the Federal Government of Nigeria and the general public that we are putting all our members on red alert to be in solidarity action in line with NLC at a very short notice. We remain solidly behind ASUU demands and against Federal Government of Nigeria recalcitrant approach reneging on existing negotiated agreements”

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.