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News - North Central - FCT Updated: February 20, 2024

ASUU: SSANU threatens to halt activities following payment of withheld salaries

By Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi
February 20, 2024
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The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has issued a harsh warning that it will suspend activities at universities across the country until its members' withholding salaries are released.

The declaration is in response to the Federal Government's decision to exclude SSANU members from recent salary payments, which has caused significant anger within the union.

The uproar erupted after the Federal Government began paying Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) members on Monday, but excluded SSANU.

In an interview with Punch, Prof. Gbolahan Bolarin, the chairperson of ASUU at the Federal University of Technology in Minna, acknowledged the start of these payments, saying, "Yes, that is true. Payment has begun to flow in."

The withheld salaries are the result of an eight-month strike in 2022 that saw both ASUU and SSANU members stop working.

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The move prompted former President Muhammadu Buhari's administration to implement a 'No Work, No Pay' policy against the striking unions.

In a surprising turn of events, President Bola Tinubu authorised the release of four of ASUU's withholding paychecks in October 2023, but SSANU was visibly overlooked.

Mohammed Ibrahim, the National President of SSANU, expressed his dismay in an interview with The PUNCH, emphasising the apparent injustice of the situation.

Ibrahim underlined that SSANU's problem was not with ASUU obtaining their dues, but with SSANU being excluded from such compensations. "It was a great injustice against SSANU," he said.

Ibrahim said, “This is just terrible, we found out that only ASUU’s payment was approved. As it is, there is tension on all the campuses we are not angry that they are paying ASUU, but they should know that it is not only ASUU that went on strike.

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“Why should our case be different? The government should pay everyone who works in the university. We can’t guarantee continuous peace in our universities. We have written to the Chief of Staff and Minister of Education, and we escalated it to the Nigeria Labour Congress. There is a palpable danger if SSANU are not paid their backlog.”

He further stated that only ASUU's payment had been accepted, as confirmed by the Accountant General's office and IPPIS.

He said, “We found out at the Chief Accountant General office that it was only ASUU that was approved, we also have confirmation from IPPIS that the payment does not include SSANU.”

He hinted that SSANU members would meet today (Tuesday) to decide on the development.

Ibrahim said, “Our members will meet tonight, or tomorrow morning to decide. We are under pressure; this is a clear injustice as no university can operate without the non-teaching staff.”

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Also, National Vice-President of SSANU, Abdussobur Salaam, said, “The Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU should therefore not be held responsible should the wheel of administration and corporate governance be grounded to a halt, as we have exercised enough patience with the government, especially in the face of the harsh economic conditions occasioned by policies of the current administration led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.” 

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Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi

Rasheed is a Prolific Content Writer who also has a niche in all Genres of Literature, Academic Pape...

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