Nigeria’s Labor Congress said on Thursday it would hold a day-long nationwide protest to force the federal government to heed demands from university unions.
The NLC noted that reports from a meeting of its Central Working Committee revealed a lack of progress in negotiations with senior officials from the Universities Academic Staff Union, the Nigerian Universities Senior Staff Association, the Non-Academic of Universities and the Association of Academic Technologists showed.
NLC President Ayuba Wabba made the statement in Abuja during the opening of the National Executive Council session in Congress.
Wabba directed all NLC-affiliated unions to issue guidelines for the planned nationwide one-day protest, which is due to begin next week.
The PUNCH reports that academic and non-academic activities at tertiary institutions in Nigeria have been suspended due to strike action by the various institutional unions over alleged non-compliance with their demands by the federal government.Wabba said: “The strike in the education sector is a thorn in our side. For the time being, for four months, the children of the poor have stayed at home.
“You will recall that the last decision we made was to write to the President and we gave him 21 days to call a very high power meeting to be held by the SGS or headed to the chief of staff to solve this problem once and for all.
“This meeting has been convened but from the reports we received yesterday (Wednesday) from all unions in the education sector, ASUU, NASU, SSANU, NAAT, Normal Schools, Technical Colleges, we have learned that no progress has been achieved and the deadline of three weeks that this committee has set for all the reports to be presented and for the government to take decisions that have not yet been taken.
“So yesterday (Wednesday) the CWC took note of this and lamented very heavily that we are not going in the right direction, especially in terms of education quality.“Today there is an increase in problems with social vices and that is because these children have been at home for four months and no progress has been made.
“Time lost cannot be made up and whatever it is can be addressed in less time; Why would the government allow the situation to really prolong what we can do today? Why do we have to draw it and tackle it later?
“I think there is a reluctance to address this issue and that is why CWC has decided that there will be a national one-day protest to draw government attention to a solution to the issue immediately after the next CWC decision was hit. .
“We have also informed all our affiliates and will be issuing communications over the next week to give credibility to this decision.
He also lamented the current fuel crisis in the country. Wabba said local refining is the way out of the never-ending queues at gas stations.