Lawmakers set to halt the planned strike by the Non-Academic Staff of Universities

The House of Representatives is taking steps to prevent the planned strike by the Non-Academic Staff of Universities by intervening in the dispute between the Federal Government and the university staff.

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At a meeting in Abuja on Thursday, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on University Education, Abubakar Fulata, engaged in discussions with officials from the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the National Association of Academic Technologists, and other relevant stakeholders.

During the meeting, SSANU President Mohammed Ibrahim, speaking on behalf of NASU, explained that the unions recently embarked on a one-week warning strike due to the non-payment of their withheld salaries from 2022. He expressed dissatisfaction that despite President Bola Tinubu’s waiver and directive to pay four months of their withheld salary related to the 2022 industrial action, the payment had not been made. Both the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation had failed to comply.

In response, the unions announced their intention to commence an indefinite strike if the government does not meet their demands. They also raised concerns about the disparity in treatment, as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had received payment for the four months of withheld salary, while they had not.

Similarly, the President of the National Association of Academic Technologists, Ibeji Nwokema, stated that the Federal Government had not fully honored the agreements reached with the unions in 2009 and 2017.

Chairman Abubakar Fulata appealed to the unions, requesting that they give the committee and the House of Representatives time to engage with the relevant authorities on the issues. He assured them that the House would resume on April 16 and take decisive actions to address the matter, urging them to temporarily suspend the strike notices.

SSANU and NASU had recently concluded their seven-day warning strike, as stated in a circular issued by SSANU’s President, Mohammed Ibrahim. The circular instructed union members, including those from NASU, to resume work. During the warning strike, staff from various departments, such as registry, bursary, works and maintenance, security, and student affairs, had withdrawn their services. Hostels were closed, and electricity supply was disrupted throughout the duration of the strike.

The situation is ongoing, and further updates will be provided as developments unfold.

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