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ASUU Strike: NLC to Embark on Nationwide Solidarity Protest on July 26, 27

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ASUU ”Conditionally” Calls Off 8-Month Old Strike

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has said that it would embark on a nationwide protest on July 26 and 27 in solidarity with the trade unions in the Nigeria public universities and others.

The NLC President, Mr Ayubaa Wabba said this in a circular jointly signed by Mr Emmanuel Ugboaja, General Secretary of the Congress on Sunday in Abuja.

Also read: Strike: ASUU urges Buhari meet with Briggs led-re-negotiation committee

The newsmen report that the circular which was issued on July 15, was addressed to the Chairpersons and Secretaries of NLC State Councils.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and other trade unions in the education sector have been on strike for over five months over the alleged failure of the government to keep to agreement entered with the unions.

The demands of the striking workers include issues bordering on funding of universities, salaries and earned allowances of lecturers.

According to Wabba,  the action is in line with the decisions of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Nigeria Labour Congress on June 30.

“We have scheduled as follows the National Days of Protest to get our children back to school and support our unions in Nigeria’s public universities fighting for quality education.

“The dates are on July 26 and 27 at all the state capitals of the federation and Abuja the Federal Capital Territory and take off point are at the NLC State Secretariats and the Labour House, Abuja.

“You are requested to immediately convene the meetings of your SAC to disseminate this information and to fully mobilise workers in the states for this very important protest for good governance, ’’ he said.

Also, in a separate statement, Wabba faulted the Federal Government’s purported rejection of the Nimi-Briggs Committee report of the university-based union’s negotiations.

According to him, the alleged action is inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the ILO Convention Number 98 ratified by Nigeria and whose core principle is Negotiation in Good Faith.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress is concerned about reports widely disseminated by the media both online and traditional, positing that the Federal Government may have rejected its own Nimi-Briggs Committee.

“That is on the premise of alleged disparity between the pay rise allocated to university teaching staff and the non-teaching staff.

“First, we wish to posit that the purpose for setting up the Nimi Briggs Committee was to conform with the fundamental principles of the rights of trade unions to collective bargaining as guaranteed by ILO Convention Number 98 which Nigeria has ratified.

Wabba pointed out that one of the cardinal principles of collective bargaining was the Principle of Negotiation in Good fate.

He noted that elements of the principle included conducting genuine and constructive negotiations.

Wabba however, noted that since the government set up the Nimi-Briggs Committee to make recommendations on the review of the salaries of workers in Nigeria’s universities, the unions and NLC had been kept in the dark on the report of the Committee.

According to him, it is a shocker to read from the media snippets of a report of what is strictly the product of a negotiation between the Federal Government Committee and the concerned trade unions.

“Our first response is to aver that this development gravely betrays and undermines the principle of negotiation in good fate as it manifests crass disrespect by the government for trade unions in Nigeria’s universities,’’ he said.

He said Congress, therefore, demanded that the Federal Government should immediately conclude the ongoing negotiation with trade unions in Nigeria’s universities.

He also called on the government to be prepared to commence the implementation of whatever Collective Bargaining Agreement arising from it.

“They should also immediately pay the salaries of striking university workers which had been frozen on the premise of the so-called “no work no pay” policy, especially as recommended by the leaders of Nigeria’s two major faiths,’’ he said.

 

Education

Lion Kills OAU Zoo Attendant 

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…Lion killed instantly 

Mr Olawuyi Olarewaju, a veterinary technologist with Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun,  has been killed by a Lion.

It was learnt that Olarewaju, who had been in charge of the OAU Zoological Garden for over a decade, was attacked by a nine -year-old male lion on Monday.

He was said to have been attacked while feeding the lion at the zoological garden of the university.

Confirming the incident, Mr Biodun Olarewaju, the OAU Public Relations Officer, said the management of the university had been thrown into mourning following the incident.

Olarewaju, in a statement in Ile-Ife, said that other members of staff of the university, who were at the scene of the incident did everything within their powers to rescue the deceased but the wild cat had already caused severe fatalities.

He said that saddened by the tragic event, the aggressive lion had been euthanized.

“On hearing the sad news, the management team, led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Adebayo Bamire, abruptly ended an on-going meeting for an on-the-spot assessment.

“The vice chancellor was informed on arrival by the Acting Director of the University Health and Medical Centre, Dr Tirimisiyu Olatunji, that all first aid and medical efforts to save the life of the victim failed.

“The deceased has been taking care of the lions since they were born on campus about nine years ago but tragically, the male lion killed the man who had been feeding them.

“The university management has sent a delegation to the widow and children of the deceased,    imploring them to take solace in God who gives life and also has the power to take life,” he said.

Olarewaju said that the management had ordered a comprehensive investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident.

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Education

ASUU Says 46 Members Lost Their Lives To Economic Hardship

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Abuja zone, has disclosed the death of some of its members due to economic hardship alongside poor remuneration of academics and unfavourable working conditions.

The 1st zonal coordinator, ASUU, Abuja zone, Salahu Muhammed made this known while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday.

Muhammad said no fewer than 46 academics lost their lives in universities under the Abuja zone.

They are the University of Abuja, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State University, Nasarawa, and the Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai.

He said that the union recently lost an eminent Professor of Fisheries, Johnson Oyero, of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, due to inability to afford quality medical facilities.

“In the last decade, more Nigerian academics are leaving the country in droves in search of greener pastures, thereby overworking the patriotic ones that remain in the system whose level of patriotism is dwindling daily due to poor remuneration and working conditions.

“It is also worthy of note that the union has lost several members during the period under review due to herculean working conditions, psychological and emotional stress, and diseases related to these conditions.

“For instance, universities in the Abuja zone have lost 46 members,” Muhammed said.

He decried the payment to their members, of amputated two-month salaries by the Federal Government out of the seven-and-a-half month withheld salaries.

Also, the 2nd ASUU Abuja Zonal Coordinator, Mr Salahu Lawal, said the salaries were withheld when the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari invoked a ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy on members of the union that embarked on a strike that lasted eight months in 2022.

Lawal said despite the order by President Tinubu for the release and payment of their withheld salaries, some members have reportedly received an amputated two-month salary of the seven-and-a-half-month withheld salaries, while many were yet to get anything.

“This is far below the expectation of the union and further weakens the morale of our members and the union’s trust in government promises.

“We use this medium to call on all that are involved in this inglorious act to do the needful with regards to lecturers’ withheld salaries as there is nothing more to prove,” he said.

Lawal also lamented the inability of the government to implement the exemption of Federal Universities from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) as approved by the federal Executive Council in December 2023.

‘’In December 2023, the Minister of Education after a FEC meeting told the world that tertiary institutions are now exempted from the IPPIS an imposition on federal universities by the immediate past Buhari-led government.

“It is worrisome that two months after that pronouncement, the directive has not been implemented rather there was a funny narration on the salaries paid in January stating ‘’New IPPIS’’.

“This is lack of political will to carry out a directive from the president or even FEC by some elements who are beneficiaries of the dubious payment platform,’’ Lawal stated.

He further called on the Federal Government to sign and implement the Professor Nimi Briggs committee renegotiation agreement.

The ASUU Zonal Coordinator called for the immediate implementation of salary awards of 25 percent and 35 percent and payment of its arrears from January 2023 to date

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Education

SIFAX Chairman, Afolabi Agrees To Deliver LAUTECH Convocation Lecture In April

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…Following the University’s Special Visit and Invitation

The Chairman of SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi has agreed to deliver the Convocation lecture at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology LAUTECH, Ogbomosho, come April 2024.

This was a sequel to an invitation by the management of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho led by its Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Rasak Olatunde Rom Kalilu, following a courtesy visit to the revered SIFAX Group Chairman, recently. 

*L-R: Professor Temisan Ebijuwa, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology; Chike Ogeah, Managing Director, Mac-Folly Hospitality, a subsidiary of SIFAX Group owners of Lagos Marriott Hotel; Professor Rasak Olatunde Kalilu, Acting Vice Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho; Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group and Wunmi Eniola-Jegede, Executive Director, Business Development and Strategic Planning during the formal visit of the LAUTECH management team to invite Afolabi to give the University’s convocation lecture in April 2024 held at the Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja.

The SIFAX Group Chairman, in the course of the visit, was adequately briefed on happenings in the University.

ALSO READ: SIFAX Chairman Lauds Gerar University On Infrastructure, Donates Bus

The LAUTECH has been at the forefront of Nigerian universities actively promoting transportation logistics and maritime studies.

*R-L: Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group; Professor Rasak Olatunde Kalilu, Acting Vice Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho; Professor Temisan Ebijuwa, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and another staff of the university during the formal visit of the LAUTECH management team to invite Afolabi to give the University’s convocation lecture in April 2024 held at the Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, 

Consequently, the Maritime First learnt that the Convocation lecture would provide a unique opportunity for the renowned business mogul, not only to further expose the lucky audience, to the unfolding opportunities in the various industries where he presently towers like a colossus; but also to impact them with the tools and motivation needed for a successful exploration of the nation’s Blue Economy.

ALSO READ: SIFAX: Ajayi Crowther University Honours Taiwo Afolabi With a Doctorate Degree

* L-R: Professor Rasak Olatunde Kalilu, Acting Vice Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho and Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group in a discussion during the formal visit of the LAUTECH management team to invite Afolabi to give the University’s convocation lecture in April 2024 held at the Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, today.

 The University’s next convocation is scheduled for April 2024.

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