‘Save our jobs,’ varsity staff primary schools workers cry to Buhari

Buhari

Buhari

SENIOR Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Western Zone, Monday appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to caution against the removal of about 5, 000 personnel/teachers of university staff primary schools across the country from the nominal payroll of their respective institutions.

This is following a memo and a report from the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, in February and March 2014, recommending that, “Agencies which have been funding personnel costs of staff primary schools in the federal budget should be advised to stop that practice with immediate effect.

“A service-wide circular should be issued by the commission directing federal public establishments that have staff schools not to fund their personnel budget from the treasury.”

Another circular from the Federal Ministry of Education (FME), dated April 21, 2015, and signed by a deputy director in the ministry, Fayemi Ebenezer, instructed vice chancellors of affected institutions to adhere strictly to the aforementioned recommendations.

The SSANU members, who protested the decision at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), chanted songs and displayed placards with inscriptions like, “President Buhari save our jobs;” “We are teachers, not cheaters;” “We deserve to be paid from the treasury;” “Let staff of university staff primary school be” among others.

They pleaded to the appropriate authorities to ensure such directive was reversed with immediate effect.

Addressing newsmen at the school’s Multipurpose Hall, shortly after the protest, National Vice President of SSANU, Comrade Alfred Jimoh, stated that the union would fight with everything it has to ensure the non-implementation of such directive, which he described as “social injustice.”

He said, “The union studied the attached memo and report from the Deputy Director, FME, Fayemi Ebenezar, on behalf of the Minister of Education, Mr. Ibrahim Shekarau, and the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and concluded that the reports and circulars are repugnant and offensive to the background, history, establishment and mandates of educational institutions in Nigeria and all over the world.

“To SSANU, declaring members of staff duly employed by the governing councils as ghost workers is not only mischievous, but highly offensive and smacks of evil and sinister intentions motivated towards causing unrest in the Nigerian university system.”

He continued, “Institutions like the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police, Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force also established and operate staff schools till date. All their schools are fully funded from the public treasury through the ministries of defence and police affairs.

In the same vein, “The FME is still funding all the 104 federal government colleges across the country through the same treasury. One therefore wonders the basis for the attention on the 24 university staff schools, whose total yearly budget is less than N2b in the face of the over N100b spent on the army and police staff schools.”

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