The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has urged the president Muhammadu Buhari-led government, to hasten their steps towards addressing the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), so that students can return to school.
Comrade Mohammed Haruna Ibrahim, the SSANU National President while addressing union members on International Workers’ Day, said it was sad that most of the issues confronting national institutions in the country were “man-made.”
“This year’s Workers’ Day comes when Nigerian workers are passing through perilous and dangerous times. Nigerian workers and indeed members of our great union are confronted with diverse challenges like rising spate of armed banditry, kidnappings, insurgency, economic hardship and worst of all, the inability of the government to keep to agreements entered into with all the university-based unions in 2009.
“Our members have been denied payment of new Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustment arrears and backlog of earned allowances in addition to other violations of our rights and privileges.
“Our universities have been forced to shut down due to the insincerity of the government to keep to its promises. The standard of education continues to go down due to the insensitivity of the government and the inability to provide conducive teaching, learning and work environment through lack of provisions of basic facilities that would make them compete favourably with their peers in other parts of the world.
“The morale of university workers is dampened by the poor pay package and the government appears to be paying lip service in funding education. It is very clear that the government pays more attention to frivolous things and has neglected the youths that are said to be the leaders of tomorrow.
“Despite the enormous resources God has blessed our beloved country with, those saddled with the responsibility of piloting its affairs have turned the resources to a curse.
“No nation makes progress in the midst of divisiveness, injustice, mismanagement of its resources and recriminations. I therefore call on the government to make more efforts towards the restoration of security and prosperity to the country. I also urge the government and the security agencies to do more to checkmate increasing incidents of security threats in the entire country.
“Government should take urgent steps to address the myriad of challenges that led to the ongoing strike by the unions in the universities.
“Toying with the future of our children will spell doom for our dear country. I call on the government to look into the demands of all the university-based unions and take urgent steps to address them so that our children will go back to school,” he submitted.
Ibrahim further appreciated the “courage and tenacity of Nigerian workers especially in our citadels of learning in building a future of shared prosperity”
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