SSANU threatens protest as FG pays ASUU withheld salaries

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The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has threatened to disrupt activities in universities nationwide unless the withheld salaries of its members are promptly paid.

This action comes after the Federal Government excluded SSANU members from the initial payment of withheld salaries, which only benefitted the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

The chairperson of ASUU at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Gbolahan Bolarin, confirmed this issue.

“Yes, it is true. Payment has started rolling in.”

The salaries were initially withheld during a strike by ASUU and SSANU under the ‘No Work, No Pay policy’ implemented by the former President Muhammadu Buhari administration, lasting eight months in 2022.

President Bola Tinubu later approved the release of four months’ worth of withheld salaries for ASUU.

However, the National President of SSANU, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, expressed frustration in an interview with The PUNCH regarding the union’s situation.

He insisted that it was a great injustice against SSANU, saying the union was in no way angry that ASUU was paid but it deserved to be paid too.

Ibrahim said, “This is just terrible, we found out that only ASUU’s payment was approved. As it is, there is tension on all the campuses we are not angry that they are paying ASUU, but they should know that it is not only ASUU that went on strike.

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Why should our case be different? The government should pay everyone who works in the university. We can’t guarantee continuous peace in our universities. We have written to the Chief of Staff and Minister of Education and we escalated it to Nigeria Labour Congress. There is a palpable danger if SSANU are not paid their backlog.”

He also said it was confirmed at the office of the Accountant General and IPPIS that it was only ASUU’s payment that was approved.

“We found out at the Chief Accountant General office that it was only ASUU that was approved, we also have confirmation from IPPIS that the payment does not include SSANU.”

He hinted that SSANU members would meet today ( Tuesday)  to take a  decision on the development.

Ibrahim said,  “Our members will meet tonight, or tomorrow morning to decide. We are under pressure; this is a clear injustice as no university can operate without the non-teaching staff.”

Also, National Vice-President, SSANU, Abdussobur  Salaam, said,  “The Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU should therefore not be held responsible should the wheel of administration and corporate governance be grounded to a halt, as we have exercised enough patience with the government, especially in the face of the harsh economic conditions occasioned by policies of the current administration led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

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Meanwhile, ASUU, Abuja zone, on Monday, lamented the death of some of its members.

It attributed the untimely death to the untold hardship in the country exacerbated by lecturers’ poor remuneration and unfavorable working conditions.

 The union, in a statement, said no fewer than 46 academics lost their lives in universities under the Abuja zone namely the University of Abuja, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State University, Nasarawa and the Ibrahim Babaginda University, Lapai. The union said it recently lost an eminent Professor of Fisheries, Johnson Oyero of the Federal University of Technology, Minna due to his inability to afford quality healthcare.

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