The Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, ANAP, and National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, NUBIFIE, have threatened to shut down airports, banks and financial institutions in solidarity with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, which has directed its members to embark on a nationwide protest on July 26 and 27 in solidarity with the university teachers’ industrial action
This comes as the industrial action embarked upon by the University lecturers is over five months.
Even the National Universities Commission, NUC, has decried the effects of the strike on students, the economy as well as reputation of the nation’s universities, the students’ wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG,also urged its members in the 19 states of the North, who are affected by the ASUU strike, to join the protest action declared by NLC.
However, Presidency officials yesterday accused ASUU leaders of sustaining the on-going strike by blackmail, threat and feeding members with lies about the Federal Government’s efforts at resolving the industrial action that has entered the sixth month.
Some Presidency officials told newsmen that the Federal Government has implemented five of the seven issues in the Memorandum of Action, MoA, signed with leaders of ASUU in December 2020 and had paid not less than N92.27billion as Earned Academic Allowances, EAA, among others, to ASUU members before they embarked on strike.
“This is different from the N304 billion from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund TETFUND for 2021 and first quarter of 2022,” the Presidency officials added
General-Secretary of ANAP, Abdulrasaq Saidu, said yesterday that members of the union will align with the NLC position in protesting against the unfortunate situation in the tertiary education sector.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to end the strike without further delay, lamenting that the protracted strike has added to social vices in the country as students now engage in unpalatable activities capable of destroying their future.
Saidu said the over five-month strike has ridiculed Nigeria’s educational system and made it a laughing stock.
“ASUU, NASU, SAUTHRIAI, NAAT had been on strike for more than five months due to the apparent failure of government to sign the re-negotiated 2009 Agreement with ASUU, failure to honour the terms reached in the May 2022 MoU signed with ASUU, and habitual failure of government to respect Collective Bargaining Agreements willingly signed with labour Unions,” he noted.
He said not only the students are suffering, but also parents and the society, adding that the poor economy has also affected every home in the country.
Saidu said education remained the bedrock of any country aspiring for greatness, noting that ASUU strike would eventually lead to a regrettable situation in future, if not well-handled.
“Our children are using eight years to read courses of four years with resources being wasted. We cannot continue this way,” he said.
In a related development, the NUBIFIE said it would join the NLC in its solidarity strike over the lingering ASUU strike.
According to NAN, NUBIFIE said this in a statement signed by Anthony Abakpa, its national president and Mohammed Sheikh, general secretary, on Sunday.
“However, if after the one-day protest by NLC on this issue and nothing is done, the union will have no other option than to call out all our members in banks, insurance and other financial institutions in solidarity with ASUU,” it added.