Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
Members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), University of Ibadan chapter, yesterday began a three-day protest to demand N30 billion allowance as well as against the federal government refusal to obey court judgment on staff school salaries.
The peaceful protest, which drew scores of affected workers to the main gate of the institution, affected smooth vehicular movements in and out of the school premises.
The protesting workers carried placards with inscriptions such as: ‘We demand N30 billion to pay part of our earned allowance now’; ‘FG stop provoking inter union crises in Nigerian universities’; ‘FG, please obey court judgment on staff school’, among others.
The Chairman of UI SSANU, Wale Akinremi, flanked by other union leaders, while speaking with journalists, said any country that treats teachers the way “we treat ours in Nigeria will never be destined for greatness.”
He said the three-day protest would be followed by a branch protest and the ‘mother of all protests’ at the national level which he said would shake the corridors of power to its foundation.
The national bodies of both unions had last week frowned at the alleged preferential treatment extended to ASUU by the federal government as seen in the allocation of 80 percent of monies released leaving the non-academic staff with 20 percent.
The Chairman of JAC and National President of SSANU, Samson Ugwoke, while reading a resolution reached after its meeting, said the non-teaching university workers rejected the 20 percent Earned Allowance allocated to the three non-teaching unions.
He called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency, release the N30 billion Earned Allowance of non-teaching staff within the period of 2009 to 2016.
Ugwoke, who stressed that the protest was aimed at sending a notice of strike to the federal government, called on its members to ensure full compliance with the directive in order to show its relevance to the university system.
According to him, “The recent sharing of money where the money collected from the Ministry of Education signed by the director of tertiary education, allocating 80 percent of the money to ASUU and only 20 percent to the three non-teaching staff unions is not acceptable to us.
“We reject in its totality the 20 percent allocated to our members, rather, we demand from the federal government the sum of N30 billion as part of the earned allowance of non-teaching staff from 2009 to 2016, and we therefore call on the government to hasten the audit of university earned allowances so that we will now know much is paid to who and how much is remaining.
“The way and manner the money is being shared contrary to any known accounting procedure and international best practice should be condemned by all. It is rather a fraud. This house calls it a fraud and calls for investigation.
“We call and demand that the government should release as a matter of urgency, N30 billion for non-teaching staff
“JAC has approved protests from the branches to zonal levels of our unions and mother of all protests in Abuja for three days before a deadline is given to the government for the mother of all strikes that will follow after. The protest will commence on July 15, 2019.”