NAAT seeks speedy renegotiation of 2009 agreement in varsities
The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has said only a speedy conclusion of negotiations and faithful implementation of the agreement between it and the Federal Government would guarantee the prevailing industrial harmony in the country’s university system.
A communiqué titled: “Full Implementation of the 2009 FGN/NAAT Agreement,” and issued at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said although renegotiation has begun, concluding the talks early would enhance industrial peace in the universities.
The communiqué, which was jointly signed by the President, Sani Suleiman and General Secretary, Hamilton Iyoyo, said: “It is rather unfortunate that since 2009, the Federal Government and most state governments have not fully implemented the 2009 Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN)/National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) Agreement.
“Although NAAT and other unions in the university system are re-negotiating the 2009 Agreements, there are concerns about the pace of the renegotiation process. The union hopes that government is sincere with the renegotiation and urges increased pace towards conclusion within a reasonable time frame.”
The union lauded the ongoing interrogation of some vice chancellors and other principal officers of some universities over alleged financial misappropriation.
“Indeed, NAAT had specifically requested the Federal Government to tackle the issues in the communiqué after its 32nd NEC meeting at the University of Calabar on March 30th 2017. So, it is a welcome development, which should be sustained,” it said.
The union stressed the need for government to monitor the disbursement of the N234 billion second tranche of the Paris Club refund by the states governments.
“However, against the background of misapplication and misappropriation of the fund released earlier, NAAT strongly advises state governments to ensure that the bulk of the money is used for the payment of workers’ salaries, gratuities and pension in line with guidelines for the release, because workers would not accept anything short of that expectation.”
While the union lauded the Federal Government for releasing N2.7 trillion for the payment of salaries and pension arrears, it urged state governments to prioritise the payment of pensions and salaries of their workers.
The communiqué lamented the resumed bombings in Maiduguri and its environs in recent times, which has heightened security concerns and which has led to the death of some lecturers at the University of Maiduguri.
“NAAT is concerned about the increasing rate of insecurity across the country, including kidnapping, armed robbery, cult activities and the un-ending bombings in and around Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
It specifically observed the repeated cases of suicide bombings and attempted attacks by Boko Haram terrorists at University of Maiduguri and charged the military and the government to take necessary measures to contain the threat to the university community.
It lamented the deteriorating state of most roads, saying federal roads were no longer passable. NAAT, therefore, called on the relevant government authorities to urgently rehabilitate all bad roads across the country.