The NON-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, has vowed not to resume work until the Federal Government settled the N9 billion arrears owed its members.
The Joint Action Committee, JAC, of the three non-teaching staff unions in the universities, comprising NASU, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU and National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, had embarked on strike last December over non-payment of Earned Allowances, among other things.
Speaking, yesterday, in Abuja, General Secretary of NASU, Mr Peter Adeyemi, said the union would sustain the on-going strike in research and development institutions across the country.
Adeyemi said the union would do anything possible, but within the law, to ensure that government met their demand, including staging a protest at National Assembly.
He blamed the current strike in research institutes on the non-implementation of the 2010 agreement by the Federal Government.
He said: “The non-implementation of the agreement we reached with the Federal Government in 2010 is the reason we decided to go into this action. It has got to a stage where we have to take our collective destinies in our own hands.
“It is unfortunate that we are in a country where the government is paying lip service to research and development. Developed economies of the world focus more on research for economic breakthroughs because there is no country that can develop without research. Therefore, our research institutes would be shut down until our demands are fully met.”
Adeyemi stated that the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, has acknowledged that the protesting workers, indeed, had a genuine case.
He said:“The Federal Government has acknowledged that we have a legitimate case and that it is government that is not doing what it ought to do.
‘’The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, confirmed to us at a meeting we held with him on December 7, 2017, that the demands of the Joint Action Committee of Research Institutes are legitimate and that he and his team are going to raise an appropriate request for the needed resources to be made available for our members to be paid the 12 months arrears that have been outstanding since 2010.”