Irrespective of the decision by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its five weeks old strike; academic activities will continue to be disrupted at the universities across the country as The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) have vowed to enforce their ongoing strike.
NASU declared on Tuesday that they are determined to continue with the struggle for as long as government remains unconcerned.
NAAT and SSANU, alongside NASU commenced an indefinite industrial action on Monday, 11th September, 2017.
Speaking in Abuja at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of NASU, the union President, Comrade Chris Any called on the Federal Government to immediately respond positively to all their demands with a view to ensuring that the strike ends without any further delay
The NASU president said: “We are using this medium of the meeting of our National Executive Council to reiterate our unflinching support for NASU members in all the Universities nationwide in the ongoing struggle for the actualisation of the Memorandum of Understanding as enumerated earlier.“We equally call on the Federal Government to without waste of time respond positively to all the demands of the unions with a view to ensuring that the strike ends without any further delay. We are however determined to continue with the struggle for as long as Government remains unconcerned.”
Comrade Any, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to accord the education sector its needed priority by declaring emergency in the sector.
He also condemned what the union termed the nonchalance of the Federal Government as represented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture; Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and other MDAs supervising Research Institutes, who they said, have refused to honour the content of the Agreement Government entered into with the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU).
Also speaking, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)’ Comrade Ayuba Wabba, called on the government to look at those issues raised by the unions in order to revitalise the education system.
The NLC president said: “I want to commend you for putting on the front burner, the issues that borders on quality education for the children of the poor because the struggle is a struggle for a better Nigeria. I want to encourage the government to look at all those issues which is a way of revitalising this important sector.”
Wabba added: “Most countries of the world that are making tremendous progress have anchored their progress on the quality of education that is in place. The best way to address inequality in any society is to give quality education to the children of the poor.
“When you deny majority from accessing quality education either because of cost or any other factor, it then means that you are breeding an army of people that, at the end of the day, will not have any stake in the Nigerian state and that is where we are today.”