Nigerian Senate President, Lawan Appeals For ‘Speedy’ End To University Workers, ASUU Strike on Labour Day celebration
Nigerian Senate President Ahmad Lawan on his Labour Day speech called for a swift and amicable resolution to the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ ongoing strike action (ASUU).
He made the plea in a statement commemorating “Nigerian Labour Day” on May Day this year.
Ola Awoniyi, his spokeswoman, signed his Labour Day statement, obtained by Ejes Gist Newspaper.
“Nigerian workers deserve our gratitude and respect for their contributions to our country’s development,” Lawan stated.
“I also commend them for their patriotic cooperation with the government and other organisations in addressing societal concerns together.
“There is no denying that labour generates money for the nation, which is all the more reason why the welfare of Nigerian workers should always take first.
“As Parliament, the National Assembly will continue to collaborate with Organized Labor on problems affecting workers and the broader populace of Nigeria.
“Regardless of the current difficulties, the relationship between Labour and the Government should be cooperative in the country’s general interest.
“In the spirit of Labour Day, I call for a swift and amicable conclusion of the ongoing discussions between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in order to ensure that our universities reopen for learning and research.
“We must never forget that no civilization can grow meaningfully without industrial peace and cooperation.
“Once again, I wish all Nigerian workers a happy May Day.”
On February 14, ASUU began a four-week warning strike.
On March 14, the union announced a two-month extension of the strike to allow the government to meet all of its demands.
Academics, among other things, demand increased welfare, revitalization of public universities, and academic autonomy.
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One point of discontent for academics is the failure to pay university revitalization money totaling almost N1.1 trillion.
However, the Nigerian government has stated that it lacks the funds to pay such a sum, blaming low oil prices during President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.
According to reports, the agreement was reached in 2009.
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Another is the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) issue (IPPIS).
Academics have proposed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution as an alternative payroll system (UTAS).
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