By Gabriel Dike
Administrative activities were on Tuesday disrupted in the nation’s public universities as the non-academic began a three-day protest over the failure of the Federal Government to implement their demands.
Earlier as 8.00am, members of SSANU and NASU in various universities at different venues within the campuses kick started the protest and denounced the action of government not meeting the demands of the unions including the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.
The national leadership of SSANU and NASU under the Joint Action Committee (JAC) directed members nationwide to down tools and also stage protest against the unfair treatment by government.
At the University of Lagos (UNILAG), members of SSANU and NASU began the protest march from the Senate Building to the main gate. They carried different placards denouncing the Federal Government attitude towards their demands.
The non-academic staff was led by SSANU UNILAG branch chairman, Mr. Olusola Sowunmi and NASU branch chairman, Mr. Kehinde Ajibade, they blamed the government for the protest and warned that if the issues in contention are not resolved, it might result in full strike.
The two chairmen said the protest is a response to the Federal Government’s failure to address any of the issues contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) both parties signed back on 20th October, 2020.
Sowunmi said the three days protest is to expressed their displeasure against the N40billion sharing formula, irregularities in the implementation of IPPIS, non-payment of arrears of minimum wage, non-payment of retirement benefit and failure to start renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.
”Non-academic staff came out today to speak against discrimination in the university system by government. We don’t want IPPIS again, it is a fraud” and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to do the needful and address the unfair treatment against SSANU and NASU members.
Ajibade said it is the government that forced SSANU and NASU members to embark on the three days protest, adding ”we are not promising parents that universities will reopen on January 18. It is not our fault if the institutions are shut again.
He threatened that members would be force to march IIPPIS office in Abuja and the National Assembly and shut down the two places, stating ”FG deceived our unions to register for IPPIS. Since February 2020, we have witnessed irregularities in payment.”
Among the demands of SSANU and NASU include inconsistencies in the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information Systems (IPPIS), non-payment of Earned Allowances (EA), and non-payment of arrears of minimum wage.
Others are delay in the renegotiation of Federal Government, NASU and SSANU negotiation of 2009, non-payment of retirement benefits of retired members, teaching staff usurping headships of non-teaching units in clear violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures and poor funding of state universities