July 10, 2024

4 months withheld salaries: SSANU, NASU protest in Abuja varsity

4 months withheld salaries: SSANU, NASU protest in Abuja varsity

— JAC begs Tinubu to approve payment

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

THE Joint Action Committee, JAC, of the non-teaching staff unions in the universities on Tuesday appealed to President Bola Tinubu to intervene on payment of the withheld four months salaries.

The non-teaching staff unions in the universities is comprising of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU.

Recall that JAC of the two unions had on July 7, mandated all branches to hold a one-day nationwide protest, to express their grievances over the withheld salaries and other pending issues of the two unions.

The protest rally in all branches in the universities and inter University centers was declared after the meeting convened by the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman ended in stalemate.

The protesters during the protest carried placards with inscriptions such as “Pay us our withheld four months’ salaries, “Non-teaching staff are important stakeholders of universities’.

Others were, “we are crying, our children are dying pay us our salaries’, “where is our earned allowance”, among others

Speaking at the protest, Chairman of SSANU, University of Abuja branch, Comrade Nurudeen Yusuf, explained that the protest was to draw the attention of the government to issues bordering on the welfare and university education in general, most especially, the payment of the withheld four months salaries.

He described the non payment of SSANU and NASU the withheld salaries as most vexatious and provoking considering the fact that the same presidential directive was selectively implemented to the advantage of our teaching counterpart- the academics.

He said, “However, our hope was renewed when the present administration of President Bola Tinubu during the campaigns assured all Nigerians that there will be no more strike in Nigerian universities.

“The President followed up with his campaign promises when in October 2023, directed that four month of our withheld salaries be paid.

“Also that universities should be excluded from the IPPIS. Nine months after this presidential directive, where is the money?

“All we see is selective George Orwellian implementation; “all animals are equal but some are more equal than the others.

“Today’s protest signals the beginning of series of union actions which will culminate to the total shut down of all universities in Nigeria,”he said.

He noted that the repeated reneging on agreements was eroding the trust of their members in government and its officials, and one wondered if they were truly committed to a qualitative education for the children of the masses.

Yusuf, who said the action was preventable and avoidable, therefore called on the Minister of Education, to sit up and do the needful.

He also called on the Minister of Labour and Employment to use her good office to prevent the industrial disharmony and disaffection in the universities.

Mr Makolo Hassan, NASU Chairman, said that the action was apt due to government refusal to keep to agreements.

“What we are doing today here is just the beginning. On Thursday next week, all our members will converge in Abuja for a national protest.

“We will meet and take decisions and after that we will define the way forward,”he said.