Crisis looms in varsities over delay in re-negotiation agreement

Fresh strike is looming in the public universities over the alleged inability of the Federal Government to conclude re-negotiations with the university-based unions on the 2009 agreement.

This came as the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, lamented that it has lost so many of its members to the failure of the government to pay the four months withheld salaries during the strike period.

Recall that the four university based unions, SSANU, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the Non-Academic Staff of Allied and Educational Institutions, NASU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, had last year, shut down public universities over the inability of the government to attend to their demands.

ASUU withdrew its services on February 14, 2022, and was followed by NAAT after many weeks and then SSANU and NASU. 

While SSANU and NASU called off their strike on August last year after they reached an agreement with the Federal Government, ASUU remained adamant until the National Industrial Court ordered the striking lecturers to go back to their duty post in October.

While the case instituted by FG against ASUU is still pending in court, Vanguard gathered that another round of storm is gathering momentum in the universities over the alleged delay by FG to conclude discussions with the unions on the 2009 Agreement.

In a communique at its 42nd Regular National Executive Council, NEC, meeting hosted by the University of Calabar, Cross River State, SSANU demanded immediate resumption and conclusion of re-negotiation of the 2009 Agreement.

National President of SSANU, Mohammed Ibrahim told Vanguard that, “The earlier we conclude this re- negotiation and sign a new agreement, the better for the university system.”

In the communique, SSANU had said, “NEC in session is deeply peeved by the nonchalant and detached attitude of FG towards the long standing issue of renegotiating the 2009 Agreement.

“Renegotiation of the agreement is overdue by 12 years. This is against the statutory five years agreed for periodic review. It is most disheartening and appalling the FG is handling the issue.

“We are seriously disturbed by government reluctance despite SSANU’s readiness in ensuring that this matter is urgently concluded. NEC, therefore, demands the immediate resumption and conclusion of this exercise without further delay.”