Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Western Zone, has called on the Federal Government to commence payment of earned allowances for members before the end of January or risk industrial unrest in the education sector.
The union is agitated over government’s refusal to pay the allowance of workers as contained in the agreement signed with the university non-teaching unions since 2009.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its 43rd Zonal Executive Council meeting held at Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, the union decried the failure of the government to fully implement the agreement reached with workers.
It lamented that the government did not appreciate the efforts of the union at sustaining industrial peace in the nation’s public universities despite intense pressure from members.
The council-in-session said it was further piqued by the report of the meeting between the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, and the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai with the unions over the matter adding that it fell far below expectation.
The council also expressed outrage at the “highly biased report of Prof. Yakubu Committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Public Universities” and called on government to be weary of the report as the implementation is capable of throwing the university system in the country into disarray.
It described the observations, findings and recommendations of the committee as an “armchair analysis or an outright mis-representation of fact, to work to a pre-determine answer.”
The council rejected all the negative recommendations of the Prof. Yakubu-led committee against the non-teaching staff of Nigerian universities and challenged the committee to come up with its findings on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the universities and how they are being utilised by the chief executives of the universities.
The meeting also challenged the committee to come up with a comparative analysis of the quantum of money spent on salaries and trainings of teaching and non-teaching staff in Nigeria’s public universities.
It further decried the unabated negative corruption index of the country despite the much talk-about fight against corruption and called on the government to stop paying lip service to the issue of corruption.
It encouraged government agencies saddled with the responsibilities to beam the searchlight to all the structures of governance and government parastatals, ministries and agencies with a view to block all leakages and release the embezzled funds for developmental projects that will create more jobs for Nigerians.
The union further decried the state of insecurity in the country Boko Haram insurgency in the North, kidnappings as well as oil theft and bunkering in the South. It urged government to do the needful by putting in motion all machineries for combating insecurity in the country.