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Withheld salaries: UniAbuja SSANU, ASUU begin protest

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Allied Institutions of the University of Abuja on Tuesday has commenced protest over the failure of the government to release the four-month salaries of the university workers during the period they embarked on strike in 2022.
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The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Allied Institutions of the University of Abuja on Tuesday has commenced protest over the failure of the government to release the four-month salaries of the university workers during the period they embarked on strike in 2022.

Addressing the press at the start of the protest, the chapter president, Nurudeen Yusuf, described the action of the government as “provoking.”
The Nigerian government withheld the salaries of both academic and non-academic staff in Nigerian universities for taking part in an industrial action that grounded the universities for eight months in 2022.

SSANU and NASU participated in the strike for four months.

In October, President Bola Tinubu ordered the payment of four of the eight months withheld salaries for the academic staff, leaving out the non-teaching staff.

This development resulted in a renewed rift between the non-academic staff union and the government.

Since the announcement, both SSANU and NASU have kicked against the ‘selective payments’ and asked to be included.

However, only the academic staff received the four months’ salaries paid in February. The National bodies of the unions had declared a nationwide protest.

While addressing journalists, Yusuf said, “You may recall that on March 18th, 2024 we invited you when we embarked on a week protest to draw the attention of the government to issues bordering on our welfare and university education in general, most especially, the payment of our withheld four months salaries.

“This is most vexatious and provoking considering the fact that the same presidential directive was selectively implemented to the advantage of our teaching counterpart- the academics.

“Today’s protest signals the beginning of a series of union actions which will culminate in the total shutdown of all universities in Nigeria. This action is preventable and avoidable, we therefore call on the Minister of Education, to sit up and stop playing the ostrich. We equally call on the Minister of Labour and Productivity to use her good office to prevent the industrial disharmony and disaffection in our universities, causing unnecessary disruption in our academic calendar and activities.”

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