Laments ASUU, NASU, SSANU, NAAT unions strike
By Dayo Adesulu
APPARENTLY bothered by the industrial action rocking the education sector, leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has vowed to shut down all major federal express roads next week if no resumption date is fixed.
The students union came up with the decision after an emergency meeting held in the Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin.
NANS laments unions strike: They decried that the Federal Government allowed the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, and National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, to ground academic and non academic activities in Nigerian institutions.
Communicating the outcome of their meeting with Vanguard, NANS Senate President, Comrade Taiwo Bamigbade said, “The Senate meeting was well attended by the Student Union Presidents from various tertiary institutions across the six geo political zones of the federation, NANS National Executive Council members, stakeholders and concerned Nigerian students. NANS Senate condemns in totality the lack of sincerity of the Federal Government to the 2009 agreement it entered with all the academic staff unions.”
According to him, the inactiveness of the Federal Ministry of Education to engage the staff unions in a meaningful negotiation to avert the ongoing nationwide strike by ASUU, NASU, SSANU and NAAT calls for concern.
Integrity and standard of education
He implored the unions to look beyond the strike action and possibly seek justice from the court, as their only negotiation tools to press home their legitimate demands from the Federal Government to save the integrity and standard of education in Nigeria.
He said: “NANS is calling on the Federal Government to expedite action to bring back the striking lecturers/staff to work or consider total shut down of all major federal express roads by Nigerian students if no resumption date is fixed in the next one week.”
Urges FG to probe governors over Paris Club Refund
The students union, at the same meeting, also called for the probe of state governors who collected the Paris Club refund but refused to pay their workers salaries. Bamigbade said: “NANS is calling for an immediate probe of all state governments Paris Club refund utilisation, as the purpose to which the fund was disbursed as announced by President Muhammadu Buhari was jettisoned by many states, leaving many state civil servants and pensioners salary arrears unclear.”
NANS urges FG to take over LAUTECH
In its communiqué, NANS called on the Federal Executive Council, National Assembly and the two states involved in the ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, to act as a matter of urgency and to speed up the processes required to acquire Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State by the Federal Government to save the careers of thousands of Nigerian students in the university. He added that NANS also frowned at the proposed school fees for the university by the state government.
Permanent resolution of crisis
Similarly, the union called on the Federal Ministry of Education to mandate all heads of institutions to key in to T-Ship programme of National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, to guarantee affordable and timely health care service for Nigerian students. Just as it also called on Health Maintainace Organizations, HMOs, to be more prudent in their dealings with Nigerian tertiary institutions and the student populace.
While NANS commended Kaduna State Government for the reopening of tertiary institutions in southern Kaduna, it sues for the return of peace and order in the state and for more government attention on education.
It added, “The Senate congratulated the newly appointed Ondo State Executive Council Members (Commissioners) while calling on the Commissioner of Education to prioritise the permanent resolution of crisis in all state owned institutions, particularly Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, Ondo State.
Union passes vote of confidence on its president
Meantime, the NANS Senate has passed vote of confidence on her national president, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, GCNS, for his tireless efforts to reposition NANS better as well as his giant strides to have re-invigorated NANS back to the Committee of Continental Students Union Bodies under All Africa Students Union, AASU, with his adequate representation in just concluded AASU Summit in Ghana, where he won an award as the most outstanding student leader in Africa.
The statement said,”The Senate, as a matter of urgency, implore Federal Ministry of Health and Niger State Government to come to the aid of its former NANS president Comrade Mohammed Dauda Kapon, who needs a Liver Transplant in India Hospital.”