By Joan Nwagwu
Abuja – The Non-Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) have commended the Federal Government for the approval of N8 billion for the payment of Earned Allowance.
Mr Chris Ani, National President, NASU, gave the commendation at the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Friday in Abuja.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Federal Government had released N8 billion as Earned Allowances to the three Non-Teaching Staff of the Nigerian Universities.
The non- teaching staff of the Nigerian universities include, Senior Staff of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Unions of Associated and Educational Institutions (NASU) as well as National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
The union had on May, 25th threatened to embark on nationwide strike over the delay in the payment of the N8 billion.
Ani appealed to the Federal Ministry of Education to facilitate the process of the disbursement of this fund to members of the various unions and Inter-university centre as soon as possible.
“We urge the government to put an end to the issue of payment of Earned Allowances by ensuring that henceforth the allowance is paid monthly and provision is made for the allowances in 2019 budget,” he said.
He also called on the Federal Government to address the issue of Peculiarity Allowances for workers in Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, Teaching Hospitals and Research Institutions in the country.
He, however, appealed to the government to put an end to the issue of payment of salaries in percentages to staff of universities in line with the agreement entered with the unions in the sector.
The union president decried the rate at which government issues licenses to individuals and private organisations to established private universities.
‘’We hope that these licenses are being issued out of genuine concern that existing universities are not adequate for the number of students seeking university education and not politically motivate.
‘’We also hope that appropriate machinery have been put in place for the regulation of these universities in order to maintain standards.
‘’We also called on the government to ensure that private universities operate in accordance with the constitution of the country and other extant labour laws that guarantee Freedom of Association and Right to Collective Bargaining,’’ he added.
Ani, therefore, called on the government to do a rethink and review upwardly budgetary allocation to the education sector as allocation to the sector at the Federal level had declined.
He also called on the Federal Government to ensure immediate reconvening of the Tripartite Committee of the National Minimum Wage to avoid prolonged strike by organised labour.
Mr Peters Adeyemi, General Secretary of the union, said the non academic staff union of Nigerian universities are faced with a lot of challenges.
According to Adeyemi, we have thousands of our members who in the state whose salaries have not been paid for months.
‘’ This very worrisome and the election is so closed while the politicians, particularly state governors, are not ready to do anything now than politicking and relegating the welfare and well-being of workers to the background.
“So we are going to use this opportunity to restrategise our members to use their PVC to vote them out. This is a major problem that is not only peculiar to NASU.
‘’So, our NEC is concern that our workers are suffering, also the unlawful proscription of union activities in Kogi state and we have laid complaints at different quarters and among others,’’ he said.
He also called on the Federal and state governments not to play politics with long awaited new national minimum wage for workers in the country.