President of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, Mr. Nuhu Ogirima, has disclosed that the union may soon commence another strike action to press home its demands from the Federal Government (FG).
Ogirima made the disclosure in an interview while commenting on the five-day warning strike by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU).
According to Ogirima, COEASU may have no option than to down tools, due to FG’s failure to fulfill the promise made to the union, which prompted it to suspend the strike action embarked upon for over two months in December last year.
“We are also warming up now to embark on strike. The Federal Government has acceded to the demands of the universities at the expense other sister sector. What we require is just about one tenth of what the universities require. But federal government left us out completely, refusing to attend to the resolutions we had. They promise to release funds in December, they have abandoned that. And now they have even listened to NASU and SSANU, in addition to what they have done for their academic staff, ASUU. In our own case, they have not done anything about it. It is unfortunate because they choose to attend to the elitist institution. They left us out because nobody wants to be a teacher; we don’t have the children of ministers, traditional rulers and the ambassadors in our system. That is why it is so neglected. And this is destroying our education foundational system. The future of the education industry is clearly the colleges of education. If we do not have colleges of education, what happens to the education of our youths, of our young ones?” Ogirima asked.
The COEASU helmsman said the union has been holdings meetings which, according to him, would continue next week and a final decision to be taken after due consultation with members.
He said: “We are consulting with our people towards the possibility of another strike action because the promise of N15b made, nothing has been done about that. There is another N2.5b. The N2.5b is about the peculiar academic allowances. That of universities is earned academic allowances. Our own is peculiar academic allowances. And it is just N2.5b that is outstanding now for 2018. That of 2017 is not up to that and they have not done anything about it too.”
On the reappointment of Mallam Adamu Adamu as Minister of Education, Ogirima described it as a welcome development, hoping that he would work hard this time around to find ways of offering solutions to the plethora of challenges confronting the education sector.