The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) is insistent on receiving the four months' salaries owed to its members by the federal government within the period they were on strike.
The union also decried the inactivity of government authorities and the stagnated negotiation with its members.
The National President of SSANU, Mohammed Ibrahim, who spoke at the 42nd National Executive Council meeting hosted by the University of Calabar, Cross River State expressed dissatisfaction with the welfare of non-teaching staff due to the backlog of salaries.
Ibrahim also decried the difficulties faced by Nigerians due to the high inflation in the country.
His words: “On the backlog of salaries as it affects federal university workers, we have been shortchanged because when the law says for you to embark on any strike, you need to follow the due process, you are fully aware that our strike followed the due process because it was just a resumption of strike.
"We wrote to the government and notified them but there was a communication breakdown and that is why our strike was declared.
“Therefore, it is not our fault that we went on strike and there should be no reason why our salaries should be stopped because we didn’t (go on) strike because we wanted to (go on) strike, but because there was a breakdown of communication and negotiation between us and the Federal Government.
“So, the leadership of this union is leaving nothing to chance and I want to correct this misconception that SSANU leadership has given up the struggle for the retrieval of those four months.
"This, we will not do while in office. We will do everything humanly possible to ensure that we get our money back. It is our entitlement, it is our salaries and we cannot leave it to anybody.
“Today, the government can be said to be sleeping deeply on our issues. They are in a very sound sleep because even the so-called FGN/SSANU negotiation can best be described as stagnated and stamped because, in the last six months, there wasn’t any communication between the leadership and the government representatives, this is not good.
“That renegotiation ought to have been concluded way back and we would have known where we stand 12 years after signing the 2009 Agreement, we are still struggling with implementation.
"Very few parts of it have been implemented even when they are implemented, they are implemented half hardly.”
On the prolonged fuel scarcity and the hiked prices, Mohammed said, “Nigeria is the only country that produces oil and imports 100 per cent. This you cannot explain, it doesn’t happen anywhere.
“So, we are calling on the government to do the needful by ensuring that this suffering that we are going through shouldn’t go beyond this level and if anything, the government should as a matter of urgency, reverse this situation and ensure that, in this yuletide period, our brothers and sisters will be able to celebrate Christmas in peace, in harmony and also in progress.
“We are, aside all this ‘wahala’ (problems), facing another cancer of inflation. If you buy something in the morning for N10, if you come back in the evening, you will buy the same thing for N20.
"Life is completely unbearable to members of SSANU and Nigerians generally.
“There is a need for something to be done because as it is, everything has been grounded and everyone is living at the mercy of God.”
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