From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
As a way to adequately checkmate security threats and attacks on institutions of learning, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), has again called on the federal government to authorize licenses for security outfits in all schools.
The association also decried what it described as government’s insensitivity to labour plight. It said the government has a penchant for abandoning agreements entered into with labour unions, adding that such action was what drove doctors to strike.
In a communique signed by its National President, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim after its 40th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, SSANU condemned the alleged shoddy and lopsided implementation of some core components of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), especially the Hazard and other Earned Allowances yet to be fully implemented in the monthly salaries of its members as earlier agreed.
The association’s NEC also noted with great concern, the reluctance of some state governments to implement the new national minimum wage and its accumulated arrears.
SSANU urged the federal government to pay the arrears of new minimum wage as previously agreed in the Memorandum of Agreement, MoA.
The communique reads, “NEC in session observed with dismay the shoddy and lopsided implementation of some core components of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). Specifically, Hazard and other Earned Allowances that are yet to be fully implemented in the monthly salaries of our members as earlier agreed.
“Granted that implementation of the allowances has commenced, it is rather surprising that they are scandalously captured. Government is therefore earnestly urged to stabilize the mode of salary payment vide IPPIS and immediately commence the payment of Hazard, Responsibility, Excess workload, overtime, and others alongside monthly salaries without further delay.
“In a similar vein, NEC noted with great concern, the reluctance of some Federal/State Governments to implement the New National Minimum Wage and its accumulated arrears. NEC in session also urges the Federal Government to pay the arrears of New Minimum Wage as previously agreed in the Memorandum of Agreement.
“NEC, therefore, enjoins States and the federal government to effect payment of the long-overdue arrears of the minimum wage which has lost value due to the high rate of inflation currently experienced in the country.”
On the re-negotiation of the 2009 FGN/SSANU Agreement, NEC was briefed that the exercise would soon commence after it was halted last year as a result of Covid-19.
“The Government’s Committee for the purpose was expecting a date from the SSANU/NASU delegation. Consequently, a date to kick start the re-negotiation exercise would soon be communicated to Government after all logistics had been put in place.
“NEC urges the government to show sincere commitment to the course of the exercise when it eventually takes off, bearing in mind that the same agreement was entered over a decade ago and ought to have been re-negotiated twice,” the communique stated.
Commenting on the state of the nation and the growing insecurity in the country, SSANU said, “NEC in session condemns in strong terms, the absurd and unabated increase in insecurity across the country, especially the incessant abductions/demand for ransom and killings of students and staff of secondary and tertiary institutions by bandits, especially in the Northern part of the country.
“This dangerous dimension has forced several states to shut down schools in violence-prone areas. This will no doubt, add to the over 13.5millions out of school children in Nigeria today.
“From all indications, this is a great threat to the educational system, bearing in mind that the economic growth of any nation directly depends on the level of her educational standard and stability NEC, therefore, calls on the Federal Government to urgently stem this ugly tide by vigorously strengthening the security agencies to ensure effective tackling of this monstrous menace.
“Furthermore, relevant enforceable laws should be enacted to curb this savagery. NEC also strongly canvasses for the government’s approval of licenses for security outfits in all institutions of learning to bear firearms to adequately checkmate these security threats and criminal incursions.
It lamented over the incessant strike embarked upon by labour unions, accusing the government of being responsible for that.
“The Nigerian media space is regularly awash with headlines of labour Unions embarking on protests and strike actions occasioned by government’s unbridled insensitivity to the plight and welfare of workers who are co-drivers of the economy.
“Most of the industrial actions are traceable to the government’s refusal to honour Memorandum of Agreement or Memoranda of Action freely entered into with the trade Unions. It is heart-rending that medical doctors could be on strike for over forty (40) days in Nigeria amid the Covid-19 pandemic and recent life-threatening cholera outbreak ravaging the country.
“NEC in session seriously condemns the attitude of government’s serial reneging on agreements with trade Unions. Government is therefore urged to cultivate the habit of honouring agreements it willingly signed with labour Unions to avoid these incessant strikes.” It concluded.