As strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the nation’s tertiary institutions enters its fourth month, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has indicated its resolve to embark on its own indefinite strike next week.
Speaking at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the trade union in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Tuesday, NASU’s general secretary, Prince Peters Adeyemi, said members of the union had not been paid for two months, despite working to keep university system running during the ongoing ASUU strike.
” NASU will commence its own strike next week, because we have been working and government has refused to pay our salary. For us, it does not make sense to continue to keep the system running when we are not being paid. The reason for this is not known to us.
Government has not paid our salary for August and today is September 24; they are owing us two months’ salary and there is no way we can continue to do this work on empty stomach, while they run round the globe on full stomach,” he said.
The NASU’s general secretary, who said no reason was adduced for their non-payment, added that ” the unfortunate thing is that they have no explanation for non-payment of our salary. That is enough patience on our part, despite the fact that we have our grouse before with the Federal Government that things are not running well.
” However, we think as Nigerians and parents, we don’t have to unnecessarily ground the system, but if you take this our maturity and level-headedness to mean stupidity, then, people who complain that we, in the university system have ruined the future of students by going on too many strikes imposed on us by government will have no reason not to understand, if we go on our own strike next week.”
Also speaking, the national president of NASU, Mr Ladi Iliya, blamed the National Assembly for fighting on their political interest and future at the expense of welfare of Nigerians.
The NASU president, who said the National Assembly should have deliberated on issue of persistent insecurity and ASUU strike when it resumed session, described the attitude of the legislators as shameful.
The labour leader decried issue of corruption, which he said was now an acceptable part of every transaction in the country, both in public and private sectors of the economy, adding that high cost of running the country today was a result of the endemic scourge of corrupt practices, which, he said had long bedevilled the system.