The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities has stated that Nigerian politicians are worse than Boko Haram terrorists, according to a report by Punch.
SSANU also accused the Federal Government of deceit and lack of interest to provide quality education to Nigerians.
The Western Zonal Executive Committee of SSANU, who said this on Wednesday at their special meeting held at the University of Ibadan, said the political class in Nigeria was worse than the dreaded Boko Haram in denying children of the masses access to education.
The National Vice President of SSANU, Dr. Abdussobur Salaam, and Zonal Secretary, Saheed Oseni, who spoke on behalf of the association said the refusal of the Federal Government to honour the agreements it signed with the association as far back as 2009 was one of the reasons the SSANU embarked on a national strike.
He said, “The Western Zone of SSANU is here in solidarity with the national leadership. Leaving our jobs to embark on a strike is not a pleasurable experience for us especially now that our salaries have been stopped.
“But when we are dealing with a deaf and dumbs government, we must find all means of drawing attention to our plight. Unfortunately, if Boko Haram means that education is forbidden, there is no group that depicts the forbidding of education more than the political class in Nigeria.
“For over six months, we gave notice of strike, repeated letters and reminders were communicated without any acknowledgment. We embarked on a two-week warning strike, no response. We extended by two weeks, yet no response either from the Ministry of Education or from Ministry of Labour.”
The association flayed the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, who Salaam said displayed crass ignorance about the issue that forced the university’s senior workers to embark on a strike.
He said Ngige responded to a question on why SSANU was on strike by saying the association decided to go on strike because the Academic Staff Union of Universities was also on strike.
SSANU highlighted some of the other issues that forced its members to declare a national strike, saying the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System which was introduced by the government to curb corruption had turned out to be a bigger fraud.
Delay in the renegotiation of the 2009 agreements; non-release of White Paper of visitation panels; poor funding of state universities and non-payment of retirement benefits to outgone members, among others.
He said, “It needs to be established that when IPPIS was to be introduced into the university system, SSANU and NASU embraced the payment platform on the understanding that it would stem the tide of personnel corruption pervading our universities, and that it would accommodate all the peculiarities of the university system.
“Unfortunately, our expectations were dashed as IPPIS in itself is yet another cesspool of corruption and has produced the most shambolic mode of, salary payment ever witnessed in the University system. It is so haphazard that salaries are never predictable, salaries of clerical officers are paid to professors while salaries of professors are paid to security officers.”
The university workers urged the National Universities Commission to also include staff welfare in factors that would determine which universities would be given accreditation
“Our contention is that the NUC must play a stronger supervisory role in the accreditation of universities. A situation where staff is being owed salaries running into months, allowances into years, promotion arrears, and cooperative deductions, and you expect such a system to run perfectly, is impossible. Although we have begun discussions with the Nigerian Governors Forum, our MoU of 2020 had addressed these concerns with the NUC yet to play its role as agreed upon,” he added.