…As Unilag business school takes off September***
The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (SSANU) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) on Friday urged the Federal Government to honour their 2009 agreement to avoid total strike.
The Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) branch of the two unions made their stand known while addressing a joint press briefing at SSANU secretariat, main campus, Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State.
SSANU branch Chairman, Mr Iliyasu Abdur-Ra’uf-Bello said the five days warning strike presently embarked upon by the two unions was as a result of the inability of the federal government to implement the 2009 union/Federal Government agreement.
“I have the pleasure to address the press on why SSANU and NASU are on five days warning strike, this is as a result of government inability to meet, implement or enforce the 2009 union/Federal Government agreement.”
“This agreement was signed in 2009. Ten years into this agreement, we are still dily-dallying, we are neither here nor there in the implementation of the content of this agreement.
“And the most worrisome aspect of it is that, recently, Federal Government released the sum of N25 billion to universities to defray part of outstanding earned allowances owed by government to the staff.”
The Chairman lamented that of this N25 billion released by the Federal Government to universities, only 20 per cent of it was given to the three non teaching unions of Nigerian universities.
“Only 20 per cent of it, which translate to N5 billion was given to the three non teaching staff unions in the universities, while ASUU was given 80 per cent which amount to N20 billion.”
According to him, this singular action of government is not only embarrassing, but it is insulting and unacceptable, adding that it was one of the reasons why the warning strike was on.
Speaking on position of staff schools, the Chairman recalled that in December 2016, there was a ruling at the National Industrial Court on the status of staff school as contained in the agreement the union signed with the Federal Government.
He said the court ruled in a favour of the union, saying that what was contained in the agreement between the union and the Federal Government should be upheld.
Abdur-Ra’uf-Bello said the ruling states that: the recurrent and the capital expenditure of University Staff School should be borned by the Federal Government, arguing that “up to today three and half years into that, the Federal Government has refused to implement that ruling.”
The Chairman said the court also ruled that most of the members that had their appointment terminated in their various universities should be reinstated.
He, however, said several frantic efforts made by the union leaders to convince the government to direct the respective Vice Chancellors to reinstate the laid-off staff had not yielded any fruitful result.
The Chairman recalled that some few weeks back the union members had embarked on a protest by drawing their roadmap on how to carry out what he described as a strategic and organised protest.
Abdur-Ra’uf-Bello said they have started with protest and now resolved to go on five days warning strike, assuring that the next action would be an indefinite, extensive and total strike.
He said sincere and frantic efforts should be put in place to ensure that the agreement the union reached with the Federal Government was consummated before the situation gets out of hand.
In the meantime, the Executive Director, University of Lagos Business School (UBLS), Prof. Abraham Osinubi, says not less than 25 candidates have been shortlisted for the take-off of the school in September.
Osinubu made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.
According to him, the school to offer professional training, will be a focal point of knowledge and have its core value built on uniqueness, leadership integrity, business innovation and synergy.
He said that the ULBS was set up by the University of Lagos to advance excellence in business education.
“This school will provide executive professional degree, diploma and certificate programmes relevant to today’s working world and stand ready to help the new generation of business leaders and managers to solidify their immediate and long-term successes in business.
“We are going to start lectures with a total of 25 students even though we have the capacity to admit as many as 50 students.
“Perhaps it should interest you to know that over 50 applied for the take-off of this programme; we are going to do our shortlisting for just 25.
“We will accommodate a maximum of 25 because it is an executive classroom,” he said.
The executive director added that the programme would cost a total of N4 million, and expressed the hope that the programme would bridge the gap between theory and practical.
“We are set to bridge the gap between knowledge and what obtains in the industry so that there is no more gulf, no schism between what students are being taught and what are obtainable in practice.
“We have facilitators from within the academia and the industry who are going to be taking courses together.
“As a matter of fact, one course will jointly be taken by at least two facilitators, with one coming from the industry and the other from the academia; this is what makes us unique in the university of Lagos,” the executive director said.