Says public university education in Nigeria now endangered.
…Punitive and vindictive actions will only worsen the crisis in the higher education sector.
By Chimezie Godfrey
The Save-Public-Education-Campaign has charged the Ministers of Labour and Education not to throw the nation’s universities into another avoidable crises as a result of the payment of half-salary to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Convener, Save-Public-Education-Campaign, Comrade Vivian Bello and Co-Convener Comrade Dimeji Macaulay which was made available to the press on Sunday in Abuja.
The Campaign expressed dissappointment over the news of the half-salary payment to members of ASUU for the month of October,2022.
It therefore stressed that the action by the federal government negates the spirit of the several discussions, pleas, negotiations and dialogues that eventually led to the suspension of the 8-months old industrial action embarked upon by the academic body.
The Campaign stated,”NLC and TUC must rise to the defense of academic workers in the country.
“The Save-Public-Education-Campaign, Nigeria received with sheer disappointment, the news of payment of half-salary to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU by the federal government for the month of October, 2022.
“The Education Campaign is totally aback by this action as it notes that it is in negation of the spirit of the several discussions, pleas, negotiations and dialogues that eventually saw to the suspension of the 8-months old industrial action embarked upon by the academic body, to press home legitimate demands bordering on both the welfare of its members as well as the overall good and development of the nation’s Universities.
“Taking cognizance of the fact that the issues for which ASUU embarked on strike in the fisrt place, were not effectively addressed as it were, the strike action was only suspended to give room for further dialogue and amicable resolution, this resort to bizarre and anti-labour practice of paying half-salary is therefore very unfortunate and is bound to be counter-productive as the Save-Public-Education-Campaign and indeed many other teeming Nigerians are apprehensive that such action can veritably snap the precarious truce negotiated in place at the moment.
“The Save Public Education Campaign is therefore calling on the minister of Labour Dr Chris Ngige to refrain from these anti-labour acts, abuse of power and rather incline himself with acts that will enthrone enduring peace, stability and development in our nation’s educational institutions in the overriding interest of our children whose future is being threatened by acts as these.”
In same vein, the Save-Public-Education-Campaign, strongly urged the mother Labour Bodies in the Country, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, to do more to end these acts of violence and mistreatments being meted out to Lecturers and Workers in the nation’s Higher Institutions.
“NLC and TUC should draw on every available capacity within its ambit, to protect the nation’s University workers from these acts of intimidation and indignity by government as Nigerian Lecturers and indeed public education are clearly becoming endangered particularly under this administration,” the Campaign stressed.