James Sowole in Akure
The striking non-teaching workers of the universities in the country Wednesday called on the federal government to release a sum of N30billion for the three unions under its category as a condition to call off the ongoing strike in ivory towers.
The three non-teaching staff unions of universities comprising the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) had embarked on another industrial action following the failure of the government to honour the agreement reached with the unions.
The condition was given by the National Vice President of SSANU, Mr Alfred Jimoh, at a news conference he addressed on the campus of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Ondo State.
Jimoh said if the government releases the N30billion, it would be added to the N4.6billion shared among the three non-teaching staff.
â€œThe government should release more funds to take care of the arrears of the earned allowance of the three non-teaching staff of the Nigerian universities and to commence the immediate implementation of the allowances to forestall further accumulation of the arrears,â€ he said.
While accusing the government of using divide and rule system among the universities workers, Jimoh declared that the ongoing strike would be total until the government respond to their demand.
He noted that the unions regretted the strike action following its effects on parents and the varsitiesâ€™ students but they (unions) had no option but to embark on it.
â€œWe have no option but to embark on the strike as the last option since all our efforts to engage the government were ignored and only the union that is most prone to strike is the one government would always want to favour,â€ Jimoh explained.
He called on well-meaning Nigerians to call on government to accept the proposal of three non-teaching staff unions in order for them to end the industrial action.