The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Wednesday, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to as a matter of urgency, tackle the problems facing the education sector to prevent a complete shutdown of the sector.
The union also urged the president to discountenance the impression that the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, was a political action against his government as nothing could be farther from the truth than that assertion.
In a statement by its President, Abdulwaheed Omar, NLC told President Jonathan that those telling him that the strike was politically motivated were the President’s enemies who rather than tell him the truth preferred to indulge in sycophancy, hypocrisy and boot-licking.
The statement titled “Do Not Allow Education Sector to Shut-Down”, reads: “The Nigeria Labour Congress calls on President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to tackle the crises in the education sector and prevent shut-down of the sector. We urge Mr. President to muster the necessary will and skill to confront the issues that threaten this vital sector.
“As President of the country, he has the onerous task of restoring normalcy to the sector whether the issues are political as he has made the nation to believe or whether they are purely industrial. The threat of a total shut-down is present and immediate and deserves all the urgency and mobilization Mr President could muster. The developments in the Education sector are symptomatic of greater ills in the polity.
“The strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), for instance is in its fourth month and has almost certainly disrupted an entire academic session with collateral consequences. Also the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has signaled its readiness to embark on a solidarity strike if government fails to resolve within two weeks the issues of contestation with ASUU. Most of these demands if not all, are not new, but are subsisting agreements which government is expected to honour. Some of these agreements border on salaries which government has agreed to pay but has elected to observe in the breach instead. For example the case with the Senior Staff Association of the Nigerian Universities, whose members are being owed for over three months.”
“The three other leading unions in the education sector, viz, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU); the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU); National Association of Academic Technologies (NAAT); and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP), have all threatened to go on strike within the next few days except their demands are met,” it added.
The statement reads further; “The avoidable strike action by ASUU has caused enough disruption or damage to the sector. The implications for the polity are grave and should be avoided, at least for the sake of our children. We also urge Mr President to discountenance the impression that the strike actions against his government are politically-motivated as nothing could be farther from the truth. Those who pursue this line of thinking are the ones who do not wish Mr President well. Rather than tell him the truth, they prefer to indulge in sycophancy, hypocrisy and boot-licking because it serves their personal motives.
“In order for Mr President to convince himself about the absence of any ulterior motive against his administration by any of the unions, especially ASUU which has come under accusation, we crave the indulgence of Mr President to insist on being availed the details of these agreements.
“The Nigeria Labour Congress is not oblivious of the present challenges in the economy but it is convinced that with requisite discipline, will, prioritisation and genuine dialogue, the government can reach a truce not just with the unions but could halt the decline in the economy.”
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Wednesday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to quickly tackle the crises in the education sector to prevent a total shutdown of the sector.
It cited the ongoing strikes or threats of strike in the sector by academic and non-academic unions to illustrate its position that the threat of a total shutdown is present and immediate.
The NLC said in a statement in Abuja by its President, Abdulwahed Omar, that the developments in the education sector were symptoms of greater ills in the society.
The strikes in the sector are caused by the refusal of government to honour subsisting agreements or to pay salaries, it added.
University teachers have been on strike since July while their polytechnic counterparts on Monday began a strike over the federal government’s poor attitude to technical education.
The NLC said the situation in the sector was worrisome and urged President Jonathan to intervene to save the students from undue extension of their study period.
“We urge Mr President to muster all the necessary will and skill to confront the issues that threaten this vital sector. As President of the country, he has the onerous task of rising to the challenge of restoring normalcy to the sector whether the issues are political as he has made the nation to believe or whether they are purely industrial,” it added.
The statement recalled that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike for almost four months with dire consequences which are likely to disrupt an entire academic year.
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has also threatened to embark on a solidarity strike with ASUU in the next two weeks if the federal government does not resolve its dispute with the university teachers.
NLC also appealed to Jonathan to discountenance the impression that the strikes are politically motivated by the opposition in order to embarrass his administration.
“Those who pursue this line of thinking are the ones who do not wish Mr President well. Rather than tell him the truth, they prefer to indulge in sycophancy, hypocrisy and bootlicking because it serves their personal motives.
“In order for Mr. President to convince himself about the absence of any ulterior motive against his administration by any of the unions, especially ASUU which has come under accusation, we crave the indulgence of Mr President to insist on being availed the details of these agreements,” the NLC said.
Ondo To Reopen Schools November 2nd
Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu has approved the reopening of schools for all classes in public and private schools across the state beginning from Monday, November 2.
This was disclosed on Thursday by the state Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Pastor. Femi Agagu.
He expressed that the state has become peaceful following the unrest that trailed the #EndSARS protest.
Recall that the state government had earlier directed schools to reopen on October 19 after seven months of closure due to COVID- 19 outbreak.
But the schools were shut days after when the #EndSARS protest broke out.
BREAKING: Public, Private Schools Can Reopen Monday – Lagos Govt
The Lagos State Government on Thursday directed all public and private schools in the state to reopen all classes for academic activities.
Recall that schools were closed following the outbreak of violence that trailed the #EndSARS protests in the State.
The government directed students and pupils in boarding houses to report to school on Sunday, 1st of November in preparation for the general resumption by Monday, 2nd November, 2020.
The directive was contained in a statement by the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo which was signed by Kayode Abayomi, Head, Public Affairs, Ministry of Education.
The Commissioner advised pupils/students to take their studies more seriously in a bid to recover the lost period and thereby excel.
FG, ASUU Disagree On Payment Platform
The meeting between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) ended in a deadlock on Wednesday.
The union and Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige led delegation failed to agree on the payment platform to be used in disbursing the salary arrears and the N30bn Earned Allowance of the university lecturers.
According to reports, the Federal Government offered to pay the salary arrears and the N30bn Earned Allowances of the university lecturers through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform pending the roll-out of ASUU’s preferred platform, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
Also Read: Why We Haven’t Called Off Strike –ASUU
However, the ASUU delegation led by National President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, insisted that the payment by the Federal Government should be made through the UTAS.
Following the failure to reach a consensus, the parties agreed to consult their respective principals and stakeholders.
They are to reconvene next week Wednesday.
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