In protest of their four months’ salary being withheld, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities and Associated Institutions will go on a nationwide strike today, Monday.

It was notified on Sunday by Muhammad Ibrahim, the National President of SSANU, that the two unions were preparing to go on strike across the country.

However, Prof. Tahir Mamman, the Minister of Education, claimed to be ignorant of the SSANU/NASU planned strike.

I am not aware of any planned strike, the minister stated in a text message to one of our correspondents on Sunday.

However, I am aware that the issue is being considered at the highest governmental level. I will communicate with them.

After a protracted strike in 2021, the Federal Government instituted the no-work, no-pay policy, withholding university employees’ salaries.

In February, the Academic Staff Union of Universities received their four-monthly withheld salaries from the Federal Government; however, SSANU and NASU were not included in this announcement.

The two unions threatened to go on a national strike and demanded in multiple letters that their salaries that had been withheld be released equally.

Ibrahim, the leader of SSANU, stated: “The Federal Government has been bombarded by the Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU with requests to reimburse our members’ withheld four-month salaries from federal universities and inter-university centers, just as we have done for our academic counterparts, with no success.

In reality, we brought this unfair treatment of our members to the notice of both the Honorable Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, SAN, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, in our letter dated February 13, 2024, with reference to JAC/NS/VOL.I/277.

We urged them to find a constructive solution to the problem before it causes needless disruption in our university system.Similar to this, on March 1, 2024, a press release was sent out giving the Federal Government seven days to take the necessary action to pay the salaries that had been withheld for the previous four months, but nothing was done about it.

“This is to direct our members in the universities and inter-university centers throughout the country to commence a seven-day warning strike effective Monday, March 18, 2024 in the first instance, having patiently waited for the ultimatum to expire without any positive response from the government.

“Additionally, since the union began its agitation for payment of its withheld salaries, the government has not made any offers to the union, according to Abdussobur Salaam, National Vice-President of SSANU.

“The government has not communicated with us in any way; they have made no promises, made no mention of salary payment, and engaged in no negotiations.

While we do not demand that they pay everything at once, we do expect them to at least demonstrate their commitment, communicate with us, and let us know when we can expect the payment.

Despite our warning press release, they have not responded.

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