The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has issued a 14-day strike notice to the Federal Government. The association threatened to shut down universities over the disparity in the sharing of the N40 billion earned allowance.
The President of the union, Ibeji Nwokoma, said that the association had written to Senator Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, serving him the notice of their planned industrial action. His words:
“We have written to the government that NAAT as a body ought to have been given a specified percentage of the N40bn. You must define it; you can’t just say ASUU 75 per cent and others 25 per cent. Let us know the specific percentage you are giving to NAAT as a union.
“In the MoU we entered with the government on November 18, in item Number 2b, we demanded that in sharing the N40bn released, that government should clearly define what is going to be allocated to each union and government agreed to the genuineness of our demands and said NUC and Federal Ministry of Education will work it out in conjunction with the union and what they have done negated completely the spirit of that MoU.”
Nwokoma further noted that the union had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government, while threatening that should the FG fail to accede to their demands, members of the union, NAAT) would not resume:
“We have given the government an ultimatum of 14 days. We wrote to the government 30th December and we have given 14 working days and if at the end of the 14 working days, our demands are not met, we resume our suspended strike.
“Definitely, we will close down the schools. If anybody thinks that ASUU has called off their strike and that schools will reopen, then let the person dare us. Let us know how effective or how possible it is for schools to reopen when technologists are on strike.”
It would be recalled that the release of N40 billion as earned allowance was part of the agreement the Federal Government had with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) before it called off its over nine months strike action.