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Nationwide Shutdown: Banks, Electricity, Others to Join ASUU





Many unions and students bodies have decided join the strike in sympathy with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from this week, which may lead to a total shut down of their operations, an action capable of exacerbating the precarious economic situation in the country.


Nationwide Shutdown: Banks, Electricity, Others to Join ASUU


Business Hallmark reported that the unions are irked by the government’s lackadaisical attitude to the plight of students whose future are at stake.


Unions including the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) have indicated their intentions to shut down airports in solidarity with the striking ASUU.


This is coming even as the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE) stated last week that it would shut all financial institutions to join the NLC in its solidarity strike over the lingering ASUU strike. ANAP in a statement by Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu, its general secretary, called on President Mohammadu Buhari to end the strike without further delay.


Recall that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had penultimate week given notice to its members to embark on a nationwide protest on July 26 and 27 in solidarity with ASUU.


Comrade Saidu had earlier stated that the protracted strike had led to an unprecedented upsurge in social vices by students and in the process, led to a ridiculing of Nigeria’s educational system, making it a laughing stock.


“ASUU, NASU, SAUTHRIAI, NAAT had been on strike for more than four months due to the apparent failure of government to sign the re-negotiated 2009 agreement with ASUU, failure to honour the terms reached in the May 2022 MoU signed with ASUU, and habitual failure of government to respect collective bargaining agreements willingly signed with labour unions.


“Our children are using eight years to read courses of four years with resources being wasted. We cannot continue this way.”


On the same note NUBIFIE in a release by Anthony Abakpa, its national president, and Mohammed Sheikh, general secretary, said “if, after the one-day protest by NLC on this issue nothing is done, the union will have no other option than to call out all our members in banks, insurance and other financial institutions in solidarity with ASUU.”


Also, NAAPE in a statement by Umoh Ofonime, its deputy General secretary, said the refusal of the federal government to honour the agreement signed with the union since 2009 “is very disturbing considering the negative impact the prolonged strike will create in the life of these children.


The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) had earlier threatened to join the nationwide strike if the ASUU crisis was not immediately resolved.


The union while expressing worry and concern over the prolonged strikes by university unions, condemned what it called the “lackadaisical attitude” of the federal government towards finding a lasting solution to the crisis.


Williams Akporeha, president of NUPENG, and Afolabi Olawale, general secretary, said the strikes by ASUU, Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) had paralysed universities for months.


The union asked the federal government to “immediately address and resolve all demands of ASUU, NASU and SSANU without any further delay to avert national solidarity actions from our members across the country.


“The rank-and-file members of NUPENG align with the NLC’s position on protest against unfortunate situation in the tertiary education sector and will not hesitate to join in the proposed nationwide strike on the matter,” the union added.


Meanwhile, federal government is making surreptitious moves to break the ranks of the academic union.


The move to decimate their ranks appears to be yielding minimal result as already a breakaway faction of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)- Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA), has dissociated itself from the ongoing strike in Nigerian universities.


In a press release authenticated by‘Niyi Sunmonu, its national coordinator, and Ernest Nwoke, national publicity secretary, CONUA noted that it is not part of its decision to embark on the ongoing strike by ASUU.


The release read in part: “The Congress of University Academics (CONUA) would like to seize this opportunity to announce its independence as a union of academic staff in Nigeria’s public universities. Being a separate and independent union, it has never been part of the decision to embark on the industrial action which has paralysed academic activities in our universities for five months now”.


CONUA said it is of the view that strikes will have a negative effect on the Nigerian university system. It added that the negative effects of the strikes have always been greater than their positive outcomes.


The union stated : “Our strongly-held view is that strikes wreak great havoc on the university system, and the concessions that are earned after every strike, over the decades, have amounted to pyrrhic victories when weighed against the systematic destruction of the local and global image of university education in Nigeria.


“Our preferred alternatives to strikes in resolving industrial disputes, therefore, include constructive engagement and constant dialogue with all stakeholders.”



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