National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS

Parents under the aegis of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, and students under the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, have called on the federal government to tread softly and not allow the issue of the payment of salary of lecturers degenerate to another industrial action.

Their calls are against the backdrop of plans by lecturers under the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to embark on rallies and declare a lecture-free day in protest against the payment of half salaries to them by the government last month after resuming from an eight-month strike.

NAPTAN, through the National President, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, in a chat with Vanguard, said since the lecturers have continued from where they stopped in the 2021/2022 session, they should be paid.

“The government should do the right thing. They should pay the lecturers. We all know that some time has been wasted, but since there is an effort to bridge the gap one way or the other, nothing should be done to truncate the process again

” Lecturers and students would only need to forfeit some holidays and as parents, we don’t want anything to rock the boat again. Parents are looking forward to their children finishing their studies and for them to reap the fruits of their labour. The issue of a personality clash or ego should not be allowed to push education into another crisis situation, “he said

NANS, in a statement by the Southwest Zone Coordinator, Adegboye Olatunji, Deputy Coordinator, Alao John and Public Relations Officer, Awoyinfa Opeoluwa, said steps being taken by the current administration at the federal level are not showing it gives priority to education.

“Just as Nigerian students are finally able to smile after the suspension of an eight-month-long ASUU strike, the Federal Government deemed it wise to pay half salary to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities This ill-advised action if allowed to stand will not only set bad precedence but ruin the already tattered morale of our lecturers and further weaken the already debilitated trust between the said union and the government.

“Ironically those directly appointed and being paid from our commonwealth to oversee Education and Labour matters namely; Mallam Adamu Adamu (Minister of Education); Dr Chris Ngige (Minister of Labour and Employment); and Festus Keyamo (Minister of State for Labour and Employment) made meagre contributions to the development. As a matter of fact, we have it on good record that Dr Ngige particularly was willing to crash the entire sector just to bring ASUU to its knees and massage his own fragile ego.

“From all indications, if drastic measures aren’t taken, the Federal Government and its overpaid employee; Dr Ngige seem ready to bury the entire educational sector. And if ASUU chooses to boycott work again as a result of this ungentlemanly decision, the government might as well forget about tertiary education completely.

“As the leadership of Nigerian students in the entire Southwest, we demand that our intellectuals and the moulders of our collective future be accorded their deserved respect and their dignity not be tampered with. In addition, the procedure to pay the remaining balance of their remunerations to be put in motion immediately, ” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the newly-registered Congress of University Academics, CONUA, is set to discuss the issue of salary and others at its maiden National Executive Council, NEC, meeting slated for the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State later in the month.

A member of the union told our correspondent that the meeting would also appraise developments in the university sector generally.

CONUA was registered by the FG as another academic staff union in the course of the recent strike by ASUU.

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