Minimum Wage: Labour, FG Fail To Reach Agreement

 

The Federal Government and representatives of organised labour have failed to reach an agreement on the full implementation of the new minimum wage, which includes the consequential adjustments of salaries for civil servants from grade level 7 to 17.

Members of both parties will also meet tomorrow (Wednesday) to finalise and possibly reach an agreement.

According to Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Amaechi Asugwuni, the meeting will help to address issues that remain critical.

“We actually thought the meeting will be concluded today but that prediction was unsuccessful, and therefore adjournment became necessary. To the best of our knowledge, the struggle we say continue applies.

“Tomorrow (Wednesday) we meet at 2 pm and that meeting also determine the fate of parties. We expect that we close that meeting positively. So far, commitments have been shown, but we believe the areas that are still in context are critical,” he added.

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The rescheduled meeting which is the deadline of the ultimatum issued by labour is also expected to iron out grey areas, and the Acting Head of Service who represented the Federal Government, Mrs Folasade Yemi-Esan stated that a final agreement will be reached after the meeting.

“Both sides have made a lot of concessions but we discovered that there are some grey areas that need to be ironed out, so some documents and information are being sourced, which we are providing and by tomorrow discussions will continue and we believe that we will be able to get everything resolved by tomorrow.”

The labour unions are demanding for a 29 percent salary increase for officers on grade 7 to 14, and 24 percent for grade 15 to 17, but the Federal Government is proposing 11 percent for officers on grade level 7 to 14, and 6.5 percent for officers on grade level 15 to 17.

Both the government and the workers’ unions are however keeping sealed lips on who is ready to shift grounds on the demands and proposals already made.

FG Appeals To ASUU To Call Off Strike

The Federal Government has asked the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to suspend its ongoing industrial action, in the interest of the nation.

Minister of Labour And Productivity Dr. Chris Ngige made the appeal in a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Press in the ministry, Samuel Olowookere.

According to Dr. Ngige, ASUU did not follow due process in the declaration of the industrial action as it did not give the Federal Government the mandatory 15 days notice before embarking on strike.

He, however, appealed to the striking lecturers to return to the negotiation table, as all the necessary steps for a fruitful dialogue had been put in place.

“The Federal Government, therefore, wishes to appeal to ASUU to consider students who are currently writing degree and promotion examinations. Please call off the strike and return to the negotiation table.

“The Federal Government has set up the Babalakin committee on 13th Feb. 2017, which is already addressing the issues raised by ASUU.

“Though the Federal Government did not wish to apportion blame, it is important to note that ASUU did not follow due process in the declaration of the industrial action.

“As it did not give the Federal Government, the mandatory 15 days’ notice as contained in the section 41 of trade disputes act, cap T8, 2004.

“In fact, it was on 14th Aug, 2017 that the office of the minister received a letter dated 13th Aug. 2017 from ASUU, that is, one full day after it commenced the strike.”

He stated that since the case was being conciliated, it was against the spirit of social dialogue and collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for ASUU to embark on strike as enunciated in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention.

Furthermore, Ngige noted that there was an ongoing renegotiation of the 2009 agreement between the government and ASUU. He therefore gave an assurance that his ministry would put a time frame to negotiations this time around.

ASUU had on Monday declared an indefinite strike over the government’s failure to keep to the 2009 agreement.

OSUSTECH Labour Unions Suspend Industrial Action

OSUSTECH Labour Unions Suspend Industrial ActionLabour unions in the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH), have announced the suspension of their six-week-old strike as the new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sunday Ogunduyile assumes duty.

The unions which had directed their members to return to work include the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).

They conveyed the suspension of the strike in a communiqué jointly signed by their leaders after a Joint Action Congress meeting.

The communiqué was signed by Peter Akindehinde for NASU, Temola Temisan for SSANU and Bobola Bamigbola for NAAT.

In the communiqué, the unions directed all staff of the institution to resume duties on Monday, March 6, 2017.

“Sequel to the strike embarked upon by the unions on January 25 to press home our demands, we hereby suspend the strike as staff and students are directed to resume on Monday.

“This is because some of our demands were met and to honour the new governor, Olurotimi Akeredolu and the new VC, Prof. Ogunduyile,” the communiqué stated.

The unions began an indefinite strike to press for the resignation of the former Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adegoke Adegbite.

They had also demanded adequate funding, urgent facelift of the institution and appointment of a substantive vice chancellor.

UNIUYO ASUU Commences Week-Long Industrial Action

ASUU, JAMB Act, amendmentMembers of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Uyo chapter, on Wednesday commenced a seven-day industrial action, in line with the directive of the national secretariat of the union.

A Channels Television correspondent who monitored the exercise in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, reported that the warning strike paralysed academic activities at the town campus of the University of Uyo.

Students were seen in groups obviously discussing the development, while those who came for early morning lectures were disappointed, as there was no lecture in sight.

OOU_Students-ProtestSome of the students who spoke to Channels Television, confirmed the industrial action and appealed to the federal government to find a lasting solution to the problem in the interest of their future.

One of the students, expressing sadness over the situation, said: “as we speak, I am supposed to have a lecture but right now, nothing is happening in school – No lectures, we are not happy about it because it will affect the number of years we spend here.

“We are calling on the federal government to do something urgent to solve the problem for the sake of our future.

Another student lamenting, said “I have no choice but to go back home because nothing is going on here. I am not happy about it. I pray for a quick resolution of the problem so we can face our studies.

Chairman of ASUU, University Of Uyo Chapter, Dr Aniekan Brown, who personally monitored the exercise to ensure compliance also spoke to Channels Television.

Seemingly unperturbed, she said, “I am glad to announce that the strike has enjoyed 100% compliance in line with the directive of the national secretariat of the union.

“The one week warning strike is informed by the inability of the federal government to honor the agreement reached with ASUU on a number of issues, which you already know.

“The most important, being that the public universities are still underfunded.”

While she stressed that all public universities in the country are expected to take part in the exercise, she added that “some of our colleagues are still receiving factional salaries and so on”.

ASUU, recessionAlso in other states such as Lagos, the ASUU Chairman for the University of Lagos, (UNILAG), Mr Adelaja Odukoya, explained the reasons for their decision.

He said the federal government had failed to deliver on its 2009 Agreement and 2013 MoU.

According to him, the government is owing over 800 billion Naira, funds which he said were meant to upgrade the university system, in attempts to make them globally competitive.

Mr Odukoya stated that several attempts to dialogue with the government as well as key ministries involved in the disbursement of the agreed funds, had fallen on deaf ears, which eventually led up to the union’s decision to go on strike.

He expressed this also on Wednessday, while speaking on Channels Television’s Breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

Oyo Workers’ Strike: Ajimobi, Labour Leaders Hold Peace Parley

ajimobi, labour leadersThe Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, has finally held an extensive peace parley with the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Nigerian Union of Teachers, in a bid to resolve the dispute that culminated in the ongoing industrial action by the workers.

The NLC was led to the parley by the Deputy President of the NLC, Comrade Peter Adeyemi, while the Chairman of the NLC, Comrade Waheed Oloyede, led NUT to the meeting that lasted more than seven hours.

The meeting started after a mega rally was staged by the national and state chapters of the NLC round the state capital in Ibadan to gather more support from the people and also press home their demands to the Governor.

Briefing the press after the meeting, Adeyemi said that the meeting was fruitful, stressing that the parties were yet to reach a conclusion on the matter following the request by the labour representatives to be given 24 hours to enable them brief the congress on the outcome of the meeting.

He added that the final decision of the labour unions would be communicated to members of the public through the media after meeting with the congress on Thursday.

The agitations of labour had been summarised at the congress that held before the rally where labour insisted that it would not back down until Government reverses its decision to involve public private partnership in the administration of public secondary schools in the state.

They also stated that they want seven months outstanding salaries paid.

It was few hours after this congress that the Speaker Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Micheal Adeyemo finally succeeded in brokering peace by bringing the two sides to dialogue.

Besides commending the Governor for his “understanding, patience and tolerance,” the NLC boss also saluted the Speaker of the House of Assembly for facilitating the meeting with the Governor.

In his response, the Governor lauded the commitment and maturity with which the national leadership of the union handled the labour impasse, pointing out that the labour leaders displayed sincerity of purpose and high sense of maturity.

Ajimobi said that the meeting reflected government’s honesty and sincerity on various issues that came up for discussion at the parley.

He also added that he remained committed to lifting the state beyond its current limits and urged labour to end the strike.

“We are by this dialogue deepening democracy. Democracy is about discussion, consultation and all of us must participate in it because there is no other way out other than to ensure the continued progress and development of our state and the country at large.

“We have had a family discussion and I’m optimistic that the crisis will soon be laid to rest. Dialogue is the potent weapon in any dispute and that is what I have been advocating. It’s good to jaw-jaw instead of war-war,” Governor Ajimobi said.

Mimiko Urges Ondo Workers To End Strike

Ondo, Olusegun Mimiko, WorkersGovernor Olusegun Mimiko has appealed to workers in Ondo State to call off their ‎strike for the interest of the people.

Governor Mimiko made the plea on Thursday while addressing labour leaders at the entrance of the Government House in Akure, the state capital in southwest Nigeria.

He lamented that his inability to pay civil servants’ salaries was due to the present economic recession in Nigeria, which he said led to the drastic reduction of the monthly allocation of funds from the Federal Government.

Governor Mimiko promised ‎to pay up the workers’ salary arrears once the funds are available.

He appealed to the workers to endure and promised that the state government would not retrench any worker.

In her response to the Governor’s request, the Ondo State Chairperson of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Bosede Daramola, lamented that workers could not afford to come to work and were also tired of staying at home.

She insisted that the struggle would continue until the state government pays heed to their request, as the civil servants can no longer bear the sufferings.

This follows the indefinite industrial action embarked on by the entire workforce of Ondo State on Wednesday,  June 8, due to government’s inability to pay their five-month salary arrears.

Unpaid Salaries: Ondo Workers Begin Indefinite Strike

Ondo-State-workers-begin-strikeGovernment workers in Ondo State, western Nigeria, have begun an indefinite strike over five month’s arrears of unpaid salaries.

The workers fully complied with the strike, as all state government offices on Wednesday remained locked, with the whole offices vicinity deserted.

Leaders of the workers were seen going round government offices to enforce the industrial action.

The State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Bosede Daramola and that of the Joint Negotiating Council, Sunday Adeleye, told Channels Television that the workers in the state were in serious financial crisis, as most of them could not sustain their financial obligations to their immediate families any longer.

“We have waited patiently. We collaborated with government and participated actively in all the screening exercises to make sure that we have a very clean document to work with.

“At the last meeting we had with the government, they promised to pay us, they paid us the December salary and promised to pay on or before May 31 the outstanding salaries and pensions to our retired officers,” Daramola said, decrying the situation that had affected many of the workers financially.

According to them, they were ready to dialogue with the government but would not resume work until government fulfilled its promise.

Attempts to reach government officials to speak on the issue failed, as they were not available in their offices. Their telephone lines were also switched off.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who is presently out of the state, is expected to cut his trip and return to the state on Thursday to meet with the workers to resolve the crisis.

Health Workers Threaten Strike

Health workersThe Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals (AHPA) have issued a 15-day ultimatum from February 3, 2016 to the federal government to look into their demands or face an industrial action.

The health workers have been having a protracted dispute with the federal government over a number of demands.

Some of their demands include the implementation of a circular on promotion from CONHESS 14 to 15 and the reconstitution of what the coalition calls lopsided composition of the board of management of teaching hospitals among others.

Medical doctors are, however, not part of the threat by the coalition of unions and associations of healthcare workers in Nigeria to go on strike.

Unity Schools Suspend Strike

Unity SchoolsUnion leaders of the unity schools across the country have suspended their over four week old strike.

The Unity Schools Staff Union embarked on the industrial action about four weeks ago demanding for the payment of promotion arrears owed them since 2007.

The Chairman of the Association of Senior Civil Servants Of Nigeria, Federal Government Girls College Benin unit, Mr Aitokwehi Timothy, in an interview before the suspension of the strike told Channels Television that the unions decided to embark on the action to push for the payment after they discovered the recent release of about two billion naira for that purpose.

The Unity Schools decided to suspend the strike on Friday morning following promises made by government to address their demands.

ASUU Strike: FUTO Resumes, Fixes Examination For December 16

The Management of the Federal University of Technology Owerri has resumed and hence fixed the semester’s examination for December 16.

This is in compliance with the directive of the Federal Government for all federal universities to resume academic activities.

The Vice Chancellor (VC) of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof. Chigozie Asiabaka, disclosed this in his office while speaking to Channels Television in Owerri the Imo State capital.

He said that the resumption is in line with the directive of the Nigerian government that all university lecturers should resume work on or before December 9. He added that close to 80% of the lecturers have signed in the school register and students are in their revision week ahead of their exams starting in the coming week.

However, there is little students’ presence noticed in the school premises, as some students, who spoke to Channels TV, said that most of their colleagues, who have resumed, were in their hostels and classes revising and reading, ahead of the exam that is slated for December 16.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, FUTO Chapter, Dr. Ikenna Nwachukwu, has faulted the VC’s claims of reopening the school.

In a phone conversation with Channels Television’s Imo state correspondent, the VC said that his members were still on strike and that it was only the National Executive Council of ASUU that had the powers to call off strike.

ASUU President Explain Reasons For Strike

The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Nasir Issa-Fagee has said that the union embarked on the current strike because the Federal Government has only implemented two of the nine issues agreed on since 2009.

Mr Issa-Fagee, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the government did nothing about the agreement until the union went on strike in 2012.

“On 2nd February 2012, the union decided to suspend that strike on the understanding that the Memorandum of Understanding that we signed with the government will be fully implemented within the shortest possible time,” he said.

According to Mr Issa-Fagee, the only two items of the agreement that have been implemented are the review of the retirement age of Professors from 65 to 70 and the reinstatement of prematurely dissolved Governing Councils.

“The other issue that mostly has to do with adequate funding for the system for revitalizing of Nigerian Universities have not been met by government,” he said.

ASUU had on Monday declared indefinite strike action to compel the Federal Government to implement the agreement reached with the union in October 2009.

Below is the text of the press conference addressed on Monday by Mr Issa-Fagee to explain the rationale for strike:

Gentlemen of the Press,

At the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) held at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, between 29th and 30th June 2013, a number of issues were raised on developments affecting the country’s education system and the Nigerian nation as a whole. These include the lingering crisis at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), the continued violation of the rights of the re-engaged 49 academics at the University of Ilorin, and the non-release of the White Paper on Special Visitation to the University of Abuja. Others include the parlous state of the economy, and Government’s disregard for its Agreements with our Union.

The Nigerian Educational Logjam

Gentlemen of the Press, the crisis affecting the Nigerian education sector stems largely from the failure of the Nigerian governments, over the years, to boldly address the suffocating challenges, which have stymied the development of the sector. It seems that while the Government is fully aware of the enormity of the infrastructural, personnel and other forms of decay at all levels, it does not have the courage to tackle these challenges for the good of the nation. This attitude on the part of Government has given critics the impression that perhaps Government is more comfortable with the uneducated class than it is with the educated one.

To compound this problem, the impression is often given that we are not in control of our educational policies as external and other influences have tended to show a national inclination to a weakened intellectual class which in turn prognosticates a desire for an ideologically barren, colonially dependent and financially deprived structure that is not primed for the growth and development of the system. ASUU challenges the Federal and State Governments, and other stakeholders who have responsibility for the education of the Nigerian people, to show great courage in implementing decisions, policies and agreements produced over time so as to put Nigerian education back on the fast lane. This should lead to the liberation of the Nigerian education system from the cloud of despair and despondency.

Gentlemen of the Press, you will recall that ASUU recently issued a Press Release over the untimely death of some Students’ Union leaders who were on their way to the University of Uyo. We used the opportunity to call for the common struggle to enthrone democratic governance in our tertiary institutions, with full respect for the rights of students to unionize. While this must be invigorated, we wish to note the unfortunate situation on our campuses today wherein most Students’ Union leaders, especially at the level of NANS, are possible drop-outs, government agents, Youth Corp members, and other questionable characters being foisted on genuine undergraduates in our universities by politicians and other officials of the State.

As a Union with a stake in the future of our youth and our nation, ASUU shall use her networks to monitor and identify the true status of those who currently parade themselves as student leaders nation-wide. We are determined to indigenize student unionism on our campuses. This is the only way the Students’ Union Movement can genuinely engage issues of noncommercial education with access to all; allocation of at least 26% of yearly budgets to education; declaration of emergency on the whole education system, revitalization of University system, etc.

The Crisis at RSUST

Gentlemen of the Press, you will recall that the crisis at River State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, has become a recurring decimal at our interactions with the media since August 2012 because it is an issue that is very close to our hearts. We remain steadfast in our support and solidarity with our members at RSUST in their principled struggle against poor governance and maladministration being perpetrated by the Vice-Chancellor and the Governing Council of the University.

It has become more evident that the Visitor to RSUST, Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, is brazenly adamant in his refusal to respect the laws establishing the University. The assault and harassment of our members in that University has continued unabated since the because of his determination to stick with the re-appointment of Prof. B. B. Fakae as Vice-Chancellor, after serving an undeserved first term which did not follow due process. The most worrisome dimension is the scandalous involvement of security agents in this show of shame.

Today, at RSUST, there is widespread abuse of university statutes and mind-boggling illegalities; unqualified lecturers teach postgraduate courses while examinations conducted without respect for requisite requirements. It is disheartening to observe that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has been playing an active role as an accomplice in the desecration of our University system by giving its approval to these despicable acts at RSUST. NUC’s continued disregard for its statutory responsibility as a regulatory agency, with the responsibility of maintaining the highest level of ethical and academic standard in Nigerian universities, as evident in RSUST, creates a grave cause for concern among the membership of our Union. We call on the National Assembly, through its oversight functions, to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the role of NUC in the shameless acts of executive obduracy at play in RSUST.

Re-engaged University of Ilorin Lecturers

You would recall that 49 lecturers of the University of Ilorin were unjustly sacked for participation in a nation-wide strike action of our Union in 2001. Despite the Supreme Court judgment, which re-validated their right to unionize and removed the toga of criminality woven around union activities by Unilorin authorities, their entitlements are still denied them. Three years after the landmark judgment, the University still withholds the salary and allowances of some of the affected staff while their entitlements for sabbatical leave and promotions have not been addressed.

We, once again, call on authorities at Unilorin to desist from gagging our members and pitching academics against themselves. A university scholar cannot creatively engage knowledge in an atmosphere of rancor and sponsored bitterness. Neither can they auspiciously fulfill their obligations as agents of change and transformation in their micro community and the wider context of humanity. We shall, therefore, continue to use all legitimate means available to us to protect and defend the interests of academics at the University of Ilorin.
The Seemingly Intractable University of Abuja Crisis

Gentlemen of the Press, it is becoming crystal clear that the Government is insincere in resolving the crisis at the University of Abuja. As you are possibly aware, the Special Visitation Panel, which looked into the monumental crisis that engulfed the University last year, submitted its report in September 2012. However, the Visitor to the University, President Goodluck Jonathan, has continued to vacillate on what to do with the report of the Panel. Meanwhile, the Uniabuja Vice Chancellor, Prof. Samuel Adelabu, continues to operate like a lord and master whose words are laws!

ASUU-NEC calls on the Visitor to Uniabuja to release the White Paper on Special Visitation to Uniabuja without further delay. It is only by doing so and implementing the recommendations of the Visitation Panel that the University can be given a new lease of life that befits a 25-year old university.

IMF/World Bank and Nigeria’s Economic Development

Gentlemen of the Press, as you are well aware, the Nigerian economy is fraught with contradictions and inconsistencies. Unfortunately, it is glaringly under the jugular clutches of Western economists, experts and interests who promote exogenous (external) instead of endogenous (internal) model of development. This model took a firm root when, in “the early 2005 a group of economists, mainly from the Breton Woods Institutions introduced the concept of Inclusive Growth (IG) to replace the erstwhile notion of Growth and Development (GD).” What is most significant about the IG model is its “attempt to run away from the need to accelerate economic development through deliberate policy interventions so as to move millions of humanity out of poverty”.

Having imposed the IG on the country by agents of the World Bank and IMR, it is little surprising that today “economic growth” does not equate to “Nigeria’s development” and prosperity of Nigerians. Key sectors that ought to provide the planks for development and prosperity such as education, power/energy, agriculture and health are in dire state. Government at all levels rather hoists frivolities over the essentials. As recently observed by Prof. Akpan Ekpo, “The implementation of the Transformation Agenda does not preclude the fact that the economy today is characterized by high and rising rate of unemployment particularly among the youths, decayed public school system at all levels, lack of quality public health system, massive corruption, security challenges, among others”.

ASUU-NEC rejects externally imposed models of economic growth that discounts human elements in the equation. The Bretton Woods experts can only further under-develop Nigeria and pauperize her citizens. This is because IG “stresses productive employment rather than income redistribution”; implying that the tiny rich Nigerians will continue to get richer while the mass poor will become poorer.

A non-insulated economy will only be a subservient economy. The solutions to our problems as a nation must be wholly Nigerian-based, Nigerian-driven and Nigerian-centered. The current reliance on the veiled but obvious drivers of our “envelop economy” being presided over and supervised by agents of the IMF/World Bank will only leave us in a worse state than the IBB era. The current jig-saw dilemma of economic blueprints of NEPAD, Vision 20 2020, Transformational Agenda, etc. are bound to fail in so far as they are not based on any indigenous economic paradigm.

2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement

You will recall that ASUU declared a total, indefinite and comprehensive strike on 4th December 2011 in order to prevail on government to sincerely and judiciously implement the 2009 Agreement it freely entered into with our Union. Specifically, ASUU identified the following key areas that were yet to be implemented:

i. Funding requirements for Revitalization of the Nigerian Universities

ii. Federal Government Assistance to State Universities

iii. Establishment of NUPEMCO

iv. Progressive increase in Annual Budgetary Allocation to Education to 26% between 2009 and 2020

v. Earned Allowances

vi. Amendment of the Pension/Retirement Age of Academics on the Professorial cadre from 65 to 70 years

vii. Reinstatement of prematurely dissolved Governing Councils

viii. Transfer of Federal Government Landed Property to Universities

ix. Setting up of Research Development Council and Provision of Research Equipment to laboratories and classrooms in our universities.

However, the strike was suspended on 2nd February 2012. As our Union noted then, “NEC decision had been taken in the interest of the revitalization of the Nigerian Universities. To achieve these goals, ASUU expects the government to fulfill its obligation in respect of funding and all other matters contained in its offers.” When the strike was suspended, ASUU drew attention to the fact that the unimplemented agreement was due for renegotiation in June 2012.

Following the suspension of the strike, government responded by setting up a Committee via TETFund to assess the needs of Nigerian Universities in terms of infrastructure and required quantum of fund. Government also mandated the Implementation Monitoring Committee (IMC) to document and compute the financial implication of implementing the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement. At ASUU’s insistence, many of these conditions have now been met. Yet, the Government has continued to dilly-dally on the implementation.

Out of nine items earlier highlighted, only two of the commitment – reinstatement of Governing Councils and the Amendment of Retirement Age Act – were met. For the past 16 months, several steps, including formal and informal consultations, meetings, personal contacts, have been employed to avert resumption of the suspended action. We seem to have now exhausted all available options. Our members cannot understand why a Government finds it difficult to fulfill an Agreement voluntarily entered into with the Union in 2009 as well as the MoU that was introduced following ASUU’s protest against government’s demonstration of bad faith in 2012.

Gentlemen of the Press, one key aspect of the Agreement where Government has demonstrated insincerity is on the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA). Components of these allowances include responsibility allowances to Heads of Department, Deans of Faculties and other functionaries of the university system.

After the MoU of 26th January 2012, Government accepted in principle to pay EAA. As if to demonstrate its commitment, the IMC under the chairmanship of Dr. Wale Babalakin was assigned the responsibility of working out practical and sustainable ways to do this. When the IMC submitted its recommendations on this aspect of the Agreement, which has run into almost four years, however, the Government suddenly began to give excuses. And, finally, it set aside the recommendations of the IMC on the account of financial difficulties; these were recommendations that came out of serious engagements with officials from relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Our Union sees this sudden reversal of gears as a betrayal of trust.

From all indications, it appears Government is yet unprepared to address the challenges facing the Nigerian University System with the urgency that is required. This trend is dangerous, as it constitutes a threat to the relative peace in Nigerian Universities. There can be no justification for Government’s position given what all Nigerians know about the management of the nation’s resources. It is evident that Government is highly deceptive and is not interested in sustaining relative stability in our universities. If Government can betray our Union on the 2009 Agreement, where is the basis of trust for the impending review that was due for 2012?

It is in the light of the above, especially having exhausted all other options, that ASUU-NEC at its meeting in Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, between 29th and 30th June 2013 resolved to call out all its members on a nation-wide strike action beginning from Wednesday, 3rd July, 2013. The strike action is comprehensive and total. Our members shall withdraw their services until Government fully implements all the outstanding aspects of the 2009 Agreement, and commences the process of review of the same Agreement.

Concluding Remarks

Gentlemen of the Press, the time has come to rise in defense of the true liberation of our country. We believe this liberation must begin with education, which is a veritable weapon for socio-economic transformation. The IMF/World Bank and their local collaborators would make Nigerians believe that “basic” or little education is good enough for the children of the poor. It is a ruse.

Our Union counts on the renewed support of the media in challenging agents of underdevelopment who deny less-privileged Nigerians quality higher education, health, employment and other life-transforming elements of development. We equally invite labor activists, students, traders, professional groups, civil society organizations and other progressive segments of the public to join our determined efforts to save Nigeria from her captors.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Nasir F. ISA
President
1st July 2013

Delta State NLC urges Uduaghan to intervene on teachers strike

Following the strike embarked by teachers in public primary and secondary schools in Delta state, the state leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Wednesday pleaded with the State governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan to intervene and stem the industrial crisis.

The Delta State governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan

The strike which commenced on Tuesday had crippled academic activities in public schools in the state.

In a letter to the Governor titled: “An appeal to avert The on-going strike action by teachers in Delta state,” the state Chairman of the NLC, Williams Akporeha urged the governor to quickly intervene in the matter to avert the on-going industrial action by primary and secondary school teachers in the state.

The letter, which was made available to journalists, reads in parts, “We write to passionately draw your kind attention to the above mentioned subject and to humbly appeal for your quick intervention towards averting the on-going industrial action by primary and secondary school teachers in the state.

“Your Excellency Sir, you will recall that the issue at stake have actually lingered for so long and deserve your immediate intervention to ensure continued peaceful industrial climate in the state”

Mr Akporeha said that the available records with the state council of congress indicates that the issue at stake include; non-restoration of the 27.5 percent teachers peculiar allowance, non-promotion of stagnated school principals on SGL16 in the state to SGL17, continued stagnation of
university graduate teachers in primary school system on SGL14.

Others, he noted are; non-payment of arrears of minimum wage to primary school teacher s, non-payment of arrears of the consolidated salary structure to primary school teachers in the state.

He said Labour was equally worried about inadequate classrooms for displaced students from schools recently handed over to missions in the state.

Mr Akporeha held that the issue may create another source of crisis in the state if not immediately addressed, as it tends to negate the policy of education for all (EFA).

He therefore urged Governor Uduaghan to “act in his usual labour friendly disposition to address the issues raised without further delay. “