Richard Ginika Izuora
The non-teaching staff in Nigerian Universities under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee, will on Tuesday, January 12, embark on three-day nationwide protests.
The protests is to press home inadequacies observed in government’s handling of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), sharing formula of the N40 billion earned academic allowances and non-payment of arrears of the new minimum wage.
According to the committee, other contentious issues that informed the decision include inconsistencies in IPPIS payment and the delay in the renegotiation of the FGN/ ASUU/SSANU 2009 Agreement.
Others were the non-payment of retirement benefits to former members; non-constitution of visitation panels to universities; as well as poor funding of universities; and also teaching staff usurping the headship of non-teaching units, among others.
The JAC which comprised the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational; and also Associated Institutions; as well as the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities have directed all its branches to mobilize the members on Monday for the rallies.
The decision to embark on the protest was taken on Friday night at a meeting by the leadership of NASU and SSANU, in Abuja, where they reviewed the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Federal Government on October 20, 2020.
This was contained in a communique signed by the SSANU President, Mohammed Ibrahim; and the General Secretary of NASU, Prince Peters Adeyemi.
The committee added that the unions would consider other measures; including embarking on an indefinite strike, after the protests.
The JAC was expected to meet on Thursday to review the success of the protest; and deliberate on the next step.
The Unions have notified the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige; who is the conciliator between the Federal Government and the Unions of their intention to embark on the protests.
The Federal Government had in December approved N40 billion earned allowances for the four university unions; and allegedly allocated 75 per cent of the amount to the Academic Staff Union of Universities; leaving 25 percent for the other three unions.
But this did not go down well with the NASU, SSANU, as well as the National Association of Academic Technologists as they rejected the sharing formula and threatened to ground the universities.