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NANS, NAPTAN urge FG, unions to avert university shutdown amidst impending strikes

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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) have jointly appealed to the federal government and university workers to avoid another shutdown of universities, emphasizing the negative impact of incessant closures on academic performance and global rankings.

In an interview with Vanguard newspaper, Comrade Lucky Emonefe, the National President of NANS, expressed concern over the recurring strikes, highlighting the adverse effects on students who bear the brunt of such industrial actions.

“Government should heed the grievances of the lecturers and university workers. Many of their concerns, such as the composition of Governing Councils and non-payment of agreed salaries, are valid,” Emonefe stated.

He urged both sides to prioritize mediation and negotiation to prevent disruptions to academic activities.

Echoing these sentiments, Chief Adeolu Ogunbanjo, Deputy National President of NAPTAN, underscored the need for the government to fulfill its commitments to university workers to maintain stability in the education sector.

“If ASUU, SSANU, and NASU proceed with strikes, it will destabilize the university system,” Ogunbanjo warned.

He referenced the recent poor global rankings of Nigerian universities, attributing this decline partly to frequent disruptions caused by strikes.

Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has initiated nationwide engagements to highlight unresolved issues, including the renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement and the payment of withheld salaries.

ASUU is demanding improved welfare, enhanced university funding, and upgraded facilities.

Additionally, non-teaching staff represented by SSANU, NAAT, and NASU are also pressing for the settlement of salary arrears and the implementation of past agreements with the government.

With deadlines looming for these demands, both academic and non-academic unions have warned of impending industrial actions if their grievances remain unaddressed. The potential strikes threaten to disrupt academic calendars and exacerbate existing challenges within the university system.

The plea from NANS and NAPTAN emphasizes the urgency for dialogue and prompt resolution to avert further turmoil in Nigeria’s higher education sector.

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