12
Tue, Dec
150 New Articles

Editorial

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

Federal Government must do everything in its power to prevent the staff unions of universities from embarking on another strike. Just when university students were packing their bags and baggage to return to school after losing three months to the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the three non-academic staff unions, last week, threatened to declare a strike if government does not release funds to the universities as agreed.

Federal Government must do everything in its power to prevent the staff unions of universities from embarking on another strike. Just when university students were packing their bags and baggage to return to school after losing three months to the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the three non-academic staff unions, last week, threatened to declare a strike if government does not release funds to the universities as agreed.


As usual, the reason behind the renewed threat by the workers to ground the universities is the failure of government to live up to its promise of releasing funds to bridge the shortfall in salaries, develop amenities in the universities and pay the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA). The Federal Government, after protracted negotiations with ASUU delegates, had agreed to release N220 billion not later than the end of October 2017. Tension, however, gripped the various unions when, a week into November, no concrete action appeared forthcoming.
It is disheartening that we are witnessing this shop-worn deja vu, even after the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had assured that the Federal Government would do everything to prevent the commencement of this strike in mid-August this year.
It is high time government realised that as long as it continues to renege on agreements with the various workers' unions it would court work stoppages. Over the years, successive administrations have tended to invite the leadership of ASUU and other workers' unions to the negotiation table, sign memorandums of understanding only to become coy when it is time for them to act as agreed.
A great weakness of government is chronic inability to respect agreements signed. The dialogues that lead to these agreements are treated merely as delay tactics. There is no real commitment to tackle the heeds of the government workforce to ensure sustainable industrial harmony and stability. This distrust generated by government's inability to honour its commitments is one of the reasons Nigeria ranks so low internationally in Doing Business, which is a great disincentive to investors in our economy.
We call on the Muhammadu Buhari administration to regard the rejuvenation of universities as its top priority. This is the only way that most Nigerians who cannot afford to send their children to schools abroad can educate their children and wards. Each time the universities go on strike, it is a great affront on the interests of ordinary Nigerians, and this must stop.
We advise the President to suspend his plans to expand the size of the Federal cabinet and boards of agencies just to gratify politicians until all striking workers are pacified to return to work.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
Sign up via our free email subscription service to receive notifications when new information is available.