The President of Congress, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, FCIA, MNIM on behalf of the National Administrative Council of The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), calls on the Federal Government to immediately resolve all lingering issues with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) or be ready for any industrial action.
The Congress and its affiliates are unanimous on the return of our children back to school, and government has no excuse whatsoever to further keep these innocent students and their lecturers at home. The Congress is worried that a government that could raise money to feed children who were at home during the heat of Covid-19 cannot do same for the Education sector now. At this point, if the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige and Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu cannot resolve the issues at stake they should quit.
We strongly condemn the continued disruption of academic calendar in public institutions and the apathetic attitude of political office holders, who are busy buying nominations forms at N100, 000,000 (One hundred million naira) while the economy is gasping for breath. They make politics expensive to disenfranchise Nigerians of conscience from the political space. The peak of the absurdity is that even serving politicians with no visible projects to their credit are also buying forms to be president!
We wish to stress that the reason why politicians care less about the plight of Nigerians is because their children school and live abroad, what happens in Nigerian public universities is none of their business. The time has come for the organized labour and all well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the Federal Government to honour the Collective Agreement reached with the University Teachers. The danger of keeping the students at home at a time the country is facing a serious security challenge is quite grave and unacceptable to us.
Congress finds it ridiculous that public officers rather than listen to the voice of reason, they avoid and walk out of negotiations.
We are convinced that an injury to one is an injury to all. Therefore, The Trade Union Congress is strongly is in solidarity with the university lecturers and the students in this struggle and we advise that everything must be done to dispense with the impasse to avoid a situation where Congress might be compelled to embark on a solidarity strike.
The clear ineptitude of this administration is becoming more worrisome, unfortunately there appears to be no end in sight, making the country a laughing stock in the committee of nations. Government must engage ASUU without further delay in constructive negotiations to find a lasting solution to their complaints now or get ready for a mass action.
Comrade Quadri Olaleye, FCIA, MNIN
10th May, 2022