From Ahmad Ibrahim, Lokoja
Members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, Federal University Lokoja (FUL), Kogi State branch, on Tuesday, embarked on a peaceful protest, to herald the three-day warning strike notice it issued the Federal Goverment.
As early as 8am, the postcard carrying university staffs took over the gates and other sections of the Adankolo campus of the institution, creating tension around the area of the metropolis in a statement signed by the chairman, SSANU/Joint Action Committee, Uche Onyedi, threatened complete shutdown of the varsity in the event of failure by the government to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into by the parties.
It read: “Gentlemen of the press, you recall that the JAC of NASU and SSANU had a 14-day warning strike which started from midnight of 4th of October and ended on 12 midnight of 18th of October, 2020.
“As a result of the warning strike by NASU/SSANU, an eight point MoU was signed by JAC of SSANU and NASU on one hand, other stakeholders of the Federal Government on the other hand, at the instance of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Abuja, on the 20th of October, 2020, in which a committee was constituted to look at our demands with a view to mapping out ways of solving them”.
He pointed out that it is unfortunate that the Federal Government reneged on its promises to implement the agreements contained in the Memorandum of Understanding.
“You are aware that there are glaring inconsistencies in the IPPIS payment platform, non payment of allowances, non payment of arrears of minimum wage consequential adjustments, delay in renegotiation of the 2009 agreements, very poor funding of state-owned universities, lack of visitation panels to universities for a very long time, non payment of retirement benefits”.
The body therefore urged the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, implement the MoU now, to avoid closing down the university for another academic year.