…As FG releases N2bn to UNN, UNILORIN
Fred Ezeh (Abuja); Gabriel Dike (Lagos)
Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has said the association might be forced to resume its suspended nationwide industrial action should the Federal Government fail to immediately honour the agreement it entered with the union.
This threat is coming as the Federal Government released N2.054 billion to settle the Earned Allowance of staff of University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) after months of agitations by the two institutions that were left out in the payment.
SSANU President, Comrade Samson Ugwoke, in a statement, highlighted the frustrations of the association particularly the inability of government to implement some aspects of the 2009 agreement and other Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it entered with the union, in addition to unsettled issues of university staff school.
He said that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of SSANU has asked Nigerians not to blame the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NAAT, NASU and SSANU, if it resumes its suspended nationwide industrial action.
He said: “It is over seven weeks now that government signed MoU with our union and it has failed to honour its own part of the bargain. We appeal to Nigerians to prevail on the Federal Government to implement the agreements to avert industrial crisis that might cripple academic activities in universities.”
Sunday Sun gathered that the amount, which is the first tranche of the earned allowance, was released to the two universities last week.
The leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was alleged to have denied UNN and UNILORIN because they failed to participate in the last national strike. The decision to exclude ASUU members in the two universities affected members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
ASUU UNILORIN chairman, Dr. Raheem Usman confirmed that the Federal Government had released N754, 538 million for payment of the first tranche to staff.
He told Sunday Sun that the money was for 2009/2010 academic session earned allowance, stating that the bursary of the university was working out what each staff is to get.
Usman said the reason, which ASUU national adduced to deny its members the allowance, was wrong.
“ASUU national said they went on strike for the money and UNILORIN did not participate, so we should not benefit. It is not allowance for strike but earned academic allowance which my members worked for,” he explained.
ASUU UNN chairman, Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Abada, also confirmed receipt of N1.3 billion to the university for the payment of earned allowance to staff.