The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, (SSANU) has advised the Federal Government to urgently commence the negotiation process for the review of the National Minimum Wage for workers in the country.
SSANU gave the advice in a communique issued at the end of its two-day National Executive Council Meeting at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun.
The communique, jointly signed by Mr Samson Ugwoke and Mr Salaam Abdussobur, SSANU’s National President and National Public Relations Officer, said the negotiation of the National Minimum Wage was imperative to ensure Nigerians were given living wages.
“NEC noted that the costs of food and basic essentials for existence are beyond the reach of the average Nigerian worker, while building materials have become so exorbitant that the common man cannot afford a decent home.
“NEC advice government to immediately plough back the various billions of Naira recovered from alleged looters into the Nigerian economy.
“It further advises government to promote policies that will attract investors and prevent oligopolies in the food and built industries to save the masses these bleak situations,’’ SSANU stated.
It also called on Nigerians to promote dialogue with a view to deepening the national conversation rather than hate speeches that could bring violence and grave consequences and repercussions.
SSANU also urged the government to intensify efforts in providing relief materials to victims of floods as well as proactively guard against future occurrence in the country.
“This could be by strictly monitoring odams, drainage and enforcing environmental laws.”
SSANU, however, noted with bewilderment, the abandonment of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) owned jointly by Oyo and Osun States.
“ The abandonment is jeopardising the careers of our members, lives of students and other members of the university community.
“The two states governments have gone ahead setting up their own universities, LAUTECH should not be left to rot in a country where the existing universities cannot absorb teeming prospective entrants into universities.
“NEC in session, noted the potential of the university and its past contributions to national development, and painfully wondered why such institution should be abandoned for any reason.
“NEC, therefore, urges the immediate takeover of LAUTECH by the Federal Government to halt this painful and embarrassing action of Oyo and Osun governments.”
SSANU also appealed to stakeholders in the education sector, traditional rulers, political leaders and concerned Nigerians to save the institution for the interest of the future of the nation.
It also noted with dismay and shock, the victimisation and illegal termination of appointments of the branch Chairman and Secretary of SSANU at the University of Abuja.
“NEC noted that the process leading to these actions did not follow due process, unlawful and unconstitutional.
“NEC, therefore, urges the Minister of Education to prevail on the Governing Council of the University of Abuja to immediately recall our illegally terminated officers to avert a national industrial crisis,” it said.
The communique also said NEC condemned the action by the Federal Government on its refusal to implement the judgment of the National Industrial Court on Staff Schools as contained in the SSANU/FGN 2009 agreement.
It added that NEC demands that the Federal Government swiftly reintegrates the workers in the University Staff Schools into the University system.
The communique called for the inclusion of staff schools in the budget and added that they should be accorded their proper status without further delay to avoid nationwide industrial action.
“In similar vein, NEC, demands as a matter of urgency, the implementation of the payment of Earned Allowances being owed members of SSANU arising from the SSANU/FGN 2009 Agreement.
“The continued delay is a breach of a Collective Bargaining Agreement and a dishonorable act by government,’’ it added. (NAN)