The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities and Allied Institutions will commence a nationwide strike today (Monday), to protest their withheld four months’ salary.

The National President of SSANU, Muhammed Ibrahim, informed Newsmen on Sunday that the two unions were set for their nationwide strike.

But the Minister for Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, said he was unaware of SSANU/NASU’s planned strike.

In a text message sent to Newsmen, the minister said, “I am not aware of any planned strike. But I know the matter is receiving attention at the highest level of govt. I will get across to them.”

The Federal Government, implementing the no-work, no-pay policy, had withheld the salaries of university workers following a prolonged strike in 2021.

However, the Federal Government in February released four-month withheld salaries to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities but left out SSANU and NASU.

The two unions, in several letters, demanded that their withheld salaries be equally released and gave the Federal Government an ultimatum with a threat to embark on a nationwide strike.

Speaking to Newsmen on Sunday, the SSANU leader, Ibrahim, said, “The Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU has inundated the Federal Government with the need to pay the withheld four-month salaries of our members in the federal universities and inter-university centres as done for our academic counterpart to no avail.

“As a matter of fact, the attention of Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to the President, and Prof. Tahir Mamman, SAN, the Honourable Minister of Education, was called to this injustice and unfair treatment of our members in our letter referenced JAC/NS/VOL.I/277 and dated 13th February 2024. We called on them to resolve the issue positively before it leads to an unnecessary upheaval in our university sector.

“In a similar vein, a press release was issued on 1st March 2024 and the Federal Government was given a seven-day ultimatum to do the needful in respect of the payment of the withheld four months’ salaries but nothing was done on the matter.

“Having waited patiently for the ultimatum to expire without any positive response from the government, this is to direct our members in the universities and inter-university centres throughout the country to commence a seven-day warning strike effective Monday, 18th March 2024 in the first instance.”

Also, SSANU National Vice-President, Abdussobur Salaam, said the government had not made any offer to the union since it started the agitation for payment of its withheld salaries.

“We have not heard anything from the government; they are not saying anything about payment of the salaries, no promises, no negotiation. We are not saying they should pay everything at once, at least they should show commitment, talk to us, and tell us when we should expect the payment, but nothing from them, they have been silent even after our warning strike press statement, still, nothing.”

March 18, 2024

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