The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on Nigerian roads.
In a communiqué signed by its President, Comrade Samson Ugwoke and the Public Relations Officer, Comrade Abdussobur Salaam at the end of its 37th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Ondo State, the non-teaching staff union of universities decried the deplorable state of roads across the country.
SSANU lamented that despite the huge amount of resources generated through crude oil in past years, Nigerian roads have become death traps filled with potholes, gullies and craters leading to avoidable road crashes.
The communiqué reads in part: “NEC in Session noted with great disappointment that the state of Nigerian roads is getting worse and more dangerous to traverse by the day. Coming from various parts of the country, members narrated the hazardous experiences they had on roads which have become death traps.
“NEC observed that it is indeed shameful that a country which has realised billions of dollars in crude oil revenue for years, cannot maintain its roads, no thanks to endemic corruption which has eaten into the fabric of the nation.
“NEC, therefore, appeals to the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on Nigerian roads to save Nigerians from avoidable loss of lives through road accidents and other mishaps.”
While calling on government to, without further delay, release the balance of the N30 billion Earned Allowances in the interest of industrial harmony in the universities, SSANU demanded that the Audit Reports of all disbursements of earned allowances be made public in order to guide government in subsequent disbursements.
The union has also directed its members to continue mobilisation to embark on a nationwide indefinite strike should government fail to keep to its part of the bargain on time.
The union recalled that after a five-day warning strike by the Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU to demand payment of N30 billion being part payment of arrears of Earned Allowances, the Federal Government, via a memo signed by the Director, Tertiary Education in the Federal Ministry of Education, had conveyed the release of the sum of N25 billion for the payment of Earned Allowances for staff of federal universities.
Alleging a breach of due process and established protocols in the disbursements of allowances, SSANU noted that “the pattern adopted for the payment was a gross violation of the University Autonomy Laws because the Governing Councils who by law are vested with the power of identifying and allocating allowances to staff in their various universities were bypassed while the Registrars and Bursars, being custodians of all university records in terms of allowances and remunerations, were not involved in the processes leading to the allocations of these monies.”
The communiqué further reads: “NEC in session, therefore, demanded that the Audit Reports of all disbursements of earned allowances be made public in order to guide government in subsequent disbursements.
“NEC in Session further reiterated its resolve to demand a minimum sum of N30 billion for the payment of Earned Allowances to the JAC of NASU and SSANU to correct the present imbalance while arrangements should be made to pay the total balance as the sum demanded represents only a fraction of the actual earned allowances owed the JAC of NASU and SSANU from 2009 till date.
“NEC in Session directed the National Administrative Committee to liaise with its JAC counterpart, i.e. NASU, to give ultimatum to the Federal Government to commence an indefinite strike for the failure of government on the release of the earned allowances as promised.
“NEC directed its members to continue mobilization for an industrial action which may become inevitable if government is not forthcoming in the fullness of time.”
On the new National Minimum Wage, SSANU called on the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission to expeditiously make public, the new salary tables based on the consequential adjustments.
While warning the Federal Government not to introduce economic policies that would be counter-productive and vitiate the gains of the new minimum wage regime, the union urged state governments to immediately domesticate the new minimum wage in the various states in order to ensure that employees at the states and local governments enjoy the new wage without delay.
Commending the government for the closure of the country’s land borders, SSANU urged the Federal Government to ensure a long term goal by creating an enabling environment for local industry to thrive through the provision of loans and microcredit facilities.