From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU Wednesday, said that its branches all over the country have adequately prepared and mobilised for the January 27 protest in line with the directive of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
NLC is planning a protest across the 36 States of the federation next week over the planned subsidy removal that would lead to increase of fuel pump price. The organised labour has threatened that it would no longer be watching the federal government inflicting pains and hardship on the workers.
Speaking at its 41st Regular National Executive Council, (NEC) meeting at the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile Ife, Osun State, the SSANU President, Comrade Mohammed Haruna Ibrahim, decried government’s insensitivity to the sufferings of the citizenry.
Comrade Ibrahim said SSANU, as an affiliate of the NLC, would participate actively in the proposed protest.
“In the next few days, the Nigeria Labour Congress is mobilizing all the Nigerian workers both formal and informal to protest this evil and very unpatriotic thought of removing fuel subsidy in Nigeria.
“We have it in good authority that about N200 will be added to the N162 or N170 depending on where you are buying as fuel price in Nigeria. The Nigeria Labour Congress in which SSANU is an affiliate, totally rejects and will participate fully in this protest across Nigeria on the 27th of this month.
“The present federal government of Nigeria is not doing any better in its relationship with our labour unions. SSANU in particular is facing the most difficult period of its existence because our members are going through a lot in terms of hardship, in terms of denial.
“We have had a 2009 Agreement which is about 12 years down the line, just less than 40% of that agreement has seen the light of the day. Even those that have seen the light of the day, they are coming in different forms and sizes that are not encouraging and not also friendly to our membership.
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“Today what our members go through is mutilation of salaries, none payment of promises made such as that of the new minimum wage arrears, none implementation or partial or lopsided payment of the hazard and responsibility allowance, issues of staff schools that have become an issue of concern to all our membership.
“Funding of state universities has become so terrible, some universities in Nigeria of state extraction suffer 12 months or two, three years of none payment of salaries and allowances. Inter university centers that are supposed to be part of our struggle have been denied of their legitimate rights and privileges of accessing allowances that have been approved and agreed upon with the federal government of Nigeria.
“The renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement is still wobbling and dancing. We also see today in our Nigerian universities this dangerous and reckless usurpation of our duties by some Vice Chancellors who give out our duties as specified in our callings to other people who do not know better than we do.
“The issue of national security in Nigeria has become an issue of concern that contemplating travel from one local government to another has become something else.
“Even the university communities that are supposed to be secured are now attacked at liberty by dangerous people who call themselves bandits and unknown gunmen.
“We have issues of bad roads, I have not seen anywhere in Nigeriawhere there are good roads outside Abuja. Name it is it the northeast, the northwest, the south-south, the southeast everywhere the roads have collapsed and there is need to fix them.
“SSANU as a union is not happy with the situation we have found ourselves in this country and we are calling on the government that we will not sit down and watch our members continue to suffer in silence.
“We will not sit down and continue to be deceived by promises that will not see the light of the day.” He said.