The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities warned the Federal Government that it would embark on a nationwide strike if the N50bn outstanding earned allowances to universities and inter-university centres are not paid within the next four months.
SSANU National President, Mohammed Ibrahim made the appeal on Sunday in a communiqué issued at the end of the 43rd Regular National Executive Council meeting held in Katsina.
According to him, the delay in the payment of the outstanding N50bn earned allowances was long overdue. He said that the NEC-in-session deliberated on the promise of the government to release the sum of N50bn for payment of outstanding earned allowances to universities and inter-university centres.
He said, “This promise is now overdue. Government is therefore urged to keep to their word and not to renege on their promises to avoid industrial dispute in the system.”
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Speaking further, Ibrahim said the association wants the immediate commencement and conclusion of the re-negotiation of the 2009 FGN/SSANU Agreement without any further delay.
He noted that NEC called for the payment of arrears of the New National Minimum Wage for some of her members who either have been paid or were yet to be fully paid.
He, however, stated that SSANU is worried about the usurpation of the university governing council’s powers and functions.
Statutorily, the council is the highest and final decision-making organ in any university. Some overzealous agents are trying however to truncate this process. Promotion in the system ends with the Councils of Universities, where a representative of the Federal Ministry of Education is also a member.
“Councils of universities should be allowed to do their work devoid of interference by the Office of the Head of Service or any external agents for that matter,” he added.
He stressed that the association was not happy about the usurpation of the powers of governing councils in relation to the promotion of SSANU members in universities and inter-university centres, adding that it was poised to take all legal means to ensure that its members were not subjected to obnoxious policies.