By Bukola Idowu, Lagos –
Virtually all universities across the country were shut down yesterday in compliance with the directive of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of their unions to embark on strike action to press home their demand.
The JAC, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) have said the strike action will not end anytime soon as compliance level hits 90 per cent.
LEADERSHIP gathered that academic activities across most universities in the country were shut down.
In a telephone interview with LEADERSHIP, the chairman of SSANU who also heads the JAC, Comrade Samson Chijioke noted that the strike action has been successful as, “the compliance level has been very high.”
According to him, compliance ranged from University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, Federal University of Technology Akure, Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, University of Port Harcourt.
“Generally speaking across the country it has been over 90 per cent compliance and very successful,” he stated noting that the action may not end soon as the unions are yet to get any invitation from the federal government.
“We are not seeing the end of the strike soon” he said adding that “to the best of my knowledge right now we have not been invited and as far as we are concerned we will be on strike until an invitation comes up and we are able to resolve the issue on ground.”
“Even if we are invited and we are not able to have something tangible coming out of it, the strike will go on. Our people are tired of strikes and tired of all these games by the government and because of this we have a more determined membership right now,” Chijioke stated.
Although University of Lagos had at the weekend released the schedule of activities for the registration of UTME candidate admitted on its merit list, the strike action had paralyzed activities in the institution as LEADERSHIP gathered that the university generator had been shut down and most offices had closed down.
The JAC of SSANU, NASU and NAAT had at the weekend directed their members in a letter to embark on an indefinite strike action commencing yesterday, Monday, December 4, 2017.
The action according to the letter was necessitated by the inability of the federal government to clarify the criteria for the disbursement of the N23 billion released by the government to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) while only pittance was allocated to the three non-teaching staff unions.