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University Staff To Embark On Indefinite Strike From Thursday

Valentine Chinyem

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Non-teaching staff in Nigerian Universities on Tuesday commenced a three-day nationwide protests to press home their demands which centred on controversial Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, sharing formula of the N40 billion Earned Academic allowances, non-payment of arrears of the new minimum wage, among others.

The placard-carrying protesters, under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee, which consists of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities staged their protest at the University of Abuja main campus.

The President of SSANU, Mohammed Ibrahim, who led the protesting staff said they would proceed with their next plan of action by Thursday if the government fails to respond positively to their demands, saying the protest was just a tip of the iceberg.

“If the government remains adamant and the issues are not addressed, JAC will take action on Thursday. We also have our children in the universities. So for us, we are hoping and we are hopeful that government will do the needful before the end of this three-day protest but if that is not done, which we are not praying for; by Thursday, we will be able to tell the whole world our next line of action,” the union leader said.

On her part, treasurer of NASU, Mrs Sadiat Hassan, stressed that the unions would not hesitate to paralyse academic activities on various campuses across the country if the government did not listen to their yearnings about the pertinent issues raised by the three unions.

According to her, “We are protesting against the irregularities in IPPIS payment and demanding the renegotiation of our 2009 agreement which has been long overdue.

“We are also protesting against the non-payment of our earned allowances and injustice that was done by the Federal Government in the distribution of the earned allowances because they gave a particular union 75 per cent and the other unions 25 per cent.

“This is against the agreement held in October that the money was for all the unions. So, we expect them to do justice to everybody because this is earned allowances.”