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Nationwide protests erupt as SSANU, NASU members demand withheld salaries

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Nationwide protests erupt as SSANU, NASU members demand withheld salaries

In a strong display of unity, members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) took to the streets in campuses across the nation on Tuesday, demanding the immediate release of their withheld salaries.

At the University of Abuja, protesting members of SSANU and NASU gathered at the entrance, brandishing placards and raising their voices in unison.

Similarly, at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna State, non-academic staff members could be seen carrying placards with messages of discontent.

The aggrieved workers made their presence known at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) in Imo State, marching around the campus with determination and resolve.

Their placards bore messages directed at the Federal Government, urging for the release of their salaries and the fulfillment of their outstanding demands.

SSANU and NASU members at the Universities of Ilorin in Kwara State also joined the protest. They called on the political leaders to reduce governance costs and cut down their opulence lifestyles to meet their financial demands.

The leaders of the two bodies and their members after a congress held a rally across the university campus. They wondered why the Federal Government could not meet their demands since 2009.

Nationwide protests erupt as SSANU, NASU members push for withheld salaries

To avoid a total breakdown of university education across the country, the leaders of the two bodies called on the government to hasten action in the implementation of their demands.

READ ALSO: NASU, SSANU declare national protest over withheld salaries

It was gathered that the situation was not different at the University of Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and some of the other public universities across the country.

NASU National President Makolo Hassan had on Monday said there was no going back on Tuesday’s demonstrations as both unions claimed that the Federal Government has failed to address their demands following their warning strike some months back.

Tuesday’s protests followed the expiration of a two-week ultimatum handed by NASU and SSANU to the Federal Government in June.

Nationwide protests erupt as SSANU, NASU members push for withheld salaries

The two unions berated the Federal Government for paying withheld salaries to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) while neglecting the non-academic unions.

All the unions had embarked on an eight-month strike in 2022 to press home some of their demands including a better welfare package. The administration of then President Muhammadu Buhari subsequently invoked a ‘No Work, No Pay policy’ against the unions but President Bola Tinubu last October approved the release of four of the eight months withheld salaries to ASUU members.

SSANU and NASU accused the Federal Government of unfair treatment and discrimination by failing to pay them like their academic counterparts.

Education Minister Tahir Mamman had in April blamed a “communication problem” for the non-payment of SSANU and NASU members, whilst he insisted that they were not discriminated against.

Mamman had said non-academic staff members of universities would get half of their withheld salaries upon the President’s approval but SSANU and NASU members said they haven’t gotten any three months after the minister’s promise.

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