The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has threatened to block the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Tuesday, September 13 over the failure of the Nigerian government to address the lingering strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other staff unions.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 due to several unresolved issues, one of which is the union’s insistence on making use of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a preferred payment option, instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
With tertiary institutions closed for months, students across the country have repeatedly taken to the streets to protest the protracted industrial action.
Disclosing NANS’ new tactics to get the government’s attention, the association in a statement on Monday said it is ready to shut down the economy of the country by blocking the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Tuesday.
The statement was jointly signed by the students’ movement Vice President, External Affairs, Akinteye Babatunde; Public Relations Officer, Giwa Yisa Temitope; Zone D Coordinator, Adegboye Emmanuel Olatunji and all South West Joint Campus Committee Chairman led by Omotosho Surprise of the Ondo axis.
NANS also passed a vote of no confidence on the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Education, Adamu Adamu, and their ability to continue to lead the government’s negotiation team seeking to resolve the outstanding issues with the lecturers.
The statement read, “For over 6 months, the Academic Staff Union of Universities has been on strike thereby paralysing academic activities on campus. Unfortunately, the Federal Government has been inconsiderate to the feelings of Nigerian Students which shows that the academic pursuit of students is of no relevance to this administration.
“It beats logic that government sets up new universities but downplays the welfare of the teachers resulting in a shutdown of universities stretching into over 6 months with no end in sight. A fortnight ago, a university lecturer committed suicide all because of the failure of the government to prioritise his well-being leaving behind 3 kids. The question is, what would be the fate of the kids he left behind?
“Since the inception of this administration, we have seen how meagre sum is allocated to the educational sector. We have seen how the Minister of Labour and his Education counterpart have been locking horns with members of ASUU over this prolonged strike with no meaningful end in sight. In all these, the Senate Committee on Tertiary education is lost.
“It is based on the foregoing that we declare a protest against the prolonged ASUU strike which has ultimately affected the progress of Nigerian students for the past 6 months. And, we also pass a vote of no confidence on the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige and Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
“NB: The protest shall be held simultaneously till the strike action is resolved. Convergence point: Lagos – Ibadan expressway (Sagamu Interchange). Time: 0700hrs.”