NANS Tackle Both the ASUU and the Federal Government on Strike Issues
Earlier yesterday, major newspapers announced that the minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige, disclosed that the Federal Government has begun the payment of salary arrears of the striking university teachers.
Nevertheless, the lecturers, under the guidance of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) insisted that the Federal Government must remit N200 billion into the universities’ revitalization fund before the ongoing strike can be suspended. Also, the Academic Staff Union of Universities has said it will not disclose when it will hold its meetings to consider the Federal Government’s offers, aimed at resolving the ongoing strike.
This is according to Vanguard’s report that the ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said this on Sunday while responding to their correspondent’s inquiry as to when the union would meet to examine the Federal Government’s offers and resolve the strike.
Bearing in mind that although the concerned here are often the ones whose salaries haven’t been paid, it is imperative to note that, that in itself is a wrong notion as the students are the major stakeholders in the educational sector.
Most of us can remember how handicapped we were whenever our schools went on strike and we couldn’t do anything but wait. Well thankfully, the NANS have decided to speak up this time and rightly so.
Yesterday 10th of September, 2017 NANS (National Association of Nigerian Students) showed they were in outright disagreement with ASUU concerning their indecision with regards to ending the strike or not. This is however expected as these students are the most affected. Their frustrations of how many months /years will be added to their program duration is more than enough valid reason for them to disagree with their lecturers.
Apparently, there are couple of other things that the Nigerian students want; both from their lecturers (ASUU) and the federal government itself.
In today’s report by Vanguard, the NANS through their president - Chinonso Obasi, in a statement, yesterday in Abuja, insisted that lecturers must consult NANS before embarking on any strike in the future. The association in a bid to pass their message across released a statement:
“….As critical stakeholders in the education sector, it is imperative that ASUU consults NANS. Anytime ASUU wants to embark on strike, it is proper for them to consult student leaders led by NANS. ASUU should also apply other means of negotiation so that the strike will not have a direct negative impact on the students….”
Also, Obasi said the decision was a fallout of the association’s just concluded emergency Senate meeting held at the Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin.
From the federal government, NANS, according to the statement, wants the money recovered by anti-corruption agencies to be channeled to the education sector in Nigeria to address some of the burning issues.
The statement also read that thus:
”As critical stakeholders in the education sector, it is imperative that ASUU consults NANS. Anytime ASUU wants to embark on strike, it is proper for them to consult student leaders led by NANS. ASUU should also apply other means of negotiation so that the strike will not have a direct negative impact on the students. “ASUU has been striking to use students as their bargaining power. The interest of students must be considered and prioritized at all times. Part of the resolution was that an appeal should be made to the Federal Government to channel the loots recovered from anti-graft agencies to the education sector.” It further added: “The Senate also passed a vote of confidence on its President for his style of leadership that has regained the lost voice of Nigerian students both at home and in the diaspora …. “
On the whole, one can conclude that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for students who are tired of sitting at home or who just can’t wait to wrap up their program and get into the real world. However the certainty of when exactly ASUU plans on bringing this strike to a halt remains unknown. One thing however is for sure, the NANS (National Association of Nigerian Students) – if they were sleeping before – are now fully awakened and are ready to tackle both the ASUU and the federal government head on.
References: vanguardngr.com, punchng.com
Image source: chrisblend.com