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Trouble for Nigerian students as SSANU and NASU begin 7-day nationwide strike



Activities in Nigerian universities will be disrupted again as the as two major staff unions, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), begin a seven-day warning strike.

The directive implies that there will be a total blackout in all the universities, including water treatment plants and clinics to be shutdown, while those involved in the pro­posed matriculation in some universities are to stay away from any activities.

The unions are protesting the government’s withholding of four months’ salary for their members following a nationwide strike in 2022.

According to SSANU and NASU, the government recently released the withheld salaries to members of the academic staff (ASUU), who also participated in the 2022 strike.

To express their dismay, SSANU and NASU through JAC issued an ultimatum to the government, but the ulti­matum expired without any action from government.

The two unions, thereafter, gave a seven-day warning strike notice to commence on March 18 if the govern­ment failed to attend to their demand.

In a statement on Friday, March 15, JAC of the two unions lamented that the government had remained adamant to the strike notice and therefore directed that the warning strike should commence today.

A statement signed by Prince Peters Adeyemi, General Secretary of NASU and Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim, SSANU President, explained that all the notices to the relevant government officials have produced no positive results.

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The statement titled, ‘Commencement of a 7-day warning strike’, reads: “The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU has inundated the Federal Government with the need to pay the withheld 4 months’ salaries of our members in the federal universities and inter-university centres as done for our academic coun­terpart to no avail.

“As a matter of fact, the attention of Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to the President and Prof. Ta­hir Mamman, SAN, OON, the Honourable Minister of Ed­ucation was called to this in­justice and unfair treatment of our members in our letter referenced JAC/NS/VOL. II/277 dated 13th February, 2024 and to also inform them to resolve the issue positively before it leads to unnecessary upheaval in our university sector.

“In a similar vein, a press release was issued on 1st March, 2024 and the Feder­al Government was given seven days ultimatum to do the needful in respect of the payment of the withheld 4 months’ salaries but nothing was done on same.

“Having waited patiently for the ultimatum to expire without positive response to our demand by govern­ment, this is to direct our members in the universities and inter-university centres throughout the country to commence a 7-day warning strike effective Monday, 18th March, 2024 in the first in­stance.

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“Please note that the 7-day warning strike should be comprehensive and total as no concession should be giv­en in any guise.

“Your strict compliance and adherence to this di­rective is mandatory for all NASU and SSANU branch­es in the universities and in­ter-university centres.”

Meanwhile, the Minister for Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, said he was unaware of SSANU/NASU’s planned strike.

Mamman speaking to The PUNCH on Sunday said; “I am not aware of any planned strike. But I know the matter is receiving attention at the highest level of govt. I will get across to them.”

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