NAAT Threatens Indefinite Strike From 31st March
The National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, has threatened to embark on indefinite strike action if, by 31st of March, the federal government refuses to address the lingering grievances of the union.
This is as the one-month warning strike declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU is taking a toll on public universities nationwide.
The indefinite strike threat is contained in a statement signed by the National Secretary of NAAT, Abubakar Yusuf, and read by the branch Chairman of NAAT, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Comrade Kenneth Nwaji during a press briefing Monday in the university.
According to the statement, the union said it would during a zoom meeting of its National Executive Council, NEC, slated for March 17, take a decision on a possible two-week warning strike before proceeding on indefinite strike if their demands were not met before the expiration of the deadline.
It enumerated some of its grievances as the near-comatose of laboratories/workshops/studio equipment and accessories in both federal and state universities; non-release of funds for payment of Earned Allowance; failure to release enabling circular for CONTISS 14 and 15 as contained in the FG/NAAT/MoUs of September 2007; November 2020 and February 2021.
Others were the non-composition of Governing Councils for Universities of Agriculture for more than a year now thereby, causing unnecessary delays in the promotion of NAAT members in the universities; poor funding of state universities; delay in the renegotiation of the FGN/NAAT 2009 Agreement, insensitivity and provocative attitude of Government on the matter, among others.
” ANEC meeting will hold on the 30th and 31st of March, 2022 at the Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Lapai to review the situation and take a final decision for an indefinite strike”, the statement warned.
“We are stopping at nothing in shutting down the laboratories and studios in all universities if our demands were not met before the expiration of the ultimatum”, Nwaji added.
Nwaji who is also the zonal Publicity Secretary of NAAT, South East, accused the Government of ” making a mockery of university education in Nigeria.”
He wondered why President Muhammadu Buhari would doll out a whopping $1million US Dollars in aid to the Afghan Government led by the Taliban but fail to adequately fund university education in his own country.
” Nigeria is not ready for university education. We have been managing enough with our bare hands, and we are tired of managing. Government has to rise to its responsibilities.
” It’s not enough to build structures with Tetfunds but fail to equip them. Infrastructure in Nigeria universities has almost collapsed”, he lamented.
Nwaji, however, noted that the Responsibility Allowance of their members had been “captured in the IPPIS” but regretted that some of their members were still omitted in the package.
He said the union and ASUU had cordial relationships and common challenges, adding that Government is their common enemy.