The Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions (JORAISU) in Nigeria has commenced a one-week warning strike.
The leadership of JORAISU had directed all its members across the states to embark on the industrial action, to protest what they considered the Federal Government’s lack of commitment to meeting long standing demands of the unions.
The strike was seen to have taken effect in several research institutions in Jos, the Plateau State’s capital in Nigeria’s north-central region.
At the National Metallurgical Development Centre (NMDC), the gate was under lock and key as management and junior staff of the centre were denied entry into their offices.
The Director General of the NMDC, Professor Ibrahim Madugu, was among those that were deprived access to the centre.
Although he is not a member of the union, he expressed concern that the neglect of the research sector might affect Nigeria’s progress.
The Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions, Mr Ucheji Nwancho, said the cries of the unions had fallen on deaf ears for a long time.
At the National Veterinary Research Institute in another location in the state, only residents and other institutions sharing the complex were allowed in the premises.
The union at the institute expressed worry that they have not had a substantive director since October 2015.
The leadership at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies explained that they received the directive to commence the warning strike a bit late, necessitating a formal kick-off.
However, the acting Director General of the policy institute, Mr Jonathan Mela, noted that the industrial action should not disturb an ongoing senior executive course.
Other members of the unions and some of those in management believed that money must be put into research if Nigeria would stand shoulder to shoulder with developed nations.