• Tuesday, 21 May 2024
Nigerian employees launch a statewide strike in response to the protracted shutdown of universities.

Nigerian employees launch a statewide strike in response to the protracted shutdown of universities.

Workers from all sectors of the national economy gathered on Tuesday to begin a two-day nationwide protest against the prolonged closure of public colleges, led by the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC).

Over unresolved issues of low social welfare and underfunding of institutions between various labor unions and the government, Nigeria's public colleges have been closed for more than five months.

Concerned about the prolonged closure and its effects, such as heightened insecurity and unemployment, the NLC called on its affiliates across the country to stage a national protest.

Union president Ayuba Wabba, who has consistently challenged the government's characterization of the declared demonstration as a solidarity rally, stated that his union is directly concerned about development because the impacted unions are members of his union.

He further said that if the situation did not end after the protest, the NLC would rally employees across the country to go on a warning strike, further harming the country's fragile economy.

Wabba also threatened future action, which could force the administration to give up on the strikers' demands.

Today's demonstration

Thousands of demonstrators had gathered at Lagos' Ikeja "low bridge" as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, while others had migrated from the Labor House in the city's Yaba district to join the protest.

Earlier Tuesday, Olusola Falowo, the president of SSANU at the University of Ilorin, called on his union members and sympathizers to join the mass protest. He guaranteed that the protest would be peaceful and that no goods would be allowed to enter.

Meanwhile, PREMIUM TIMES reporters from across the country would be on hand to cover the two-day demonstration.

ASUU and other unions' demands. 

Nigerian university workers have gone on strike under the banners of various unions, including the Academic Staff of Nigerian Universities (ASUU), the Association of Senior Staff of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (NASU), and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).

ASUU, which began its statewide strike on February 14, has been renewing it for more than five months.

The union had opposed the government's implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) as a payment platform for employees and requested its replacement with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of both SSANU and NASU has likewise rejected IPPIS, despite presenting an alternative to the government that was also stated to have been devised by its members.

 

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