As academic and non-academic workers in the university system threaten to embark on another round of industrial action, students and parents have expressed their desire to avoid another closure of universities. They are calling on the government and the unions to find a resolution to their ongoing disputes.

Students and Parents Plead for No More University Shutdowns as Unions Threaten Strike

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) have voiced their concerns, stating that the incessant closure of universities is one of the main reasons for the poor global ranking of Nigerian universities.

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NANS President, Comrade Lucky Emonefe, noted that students are always the ones bearing the brunt of these industrial actions. He urged the government to listen to the genuine concerns of the lecturers and university workers, such as the composition of Governing Councils and the need to honor agreements.

Emonefe appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to give room for mediation and negotiation, as the students do not want to waste their precious time due to the ongoing disputes.

NAPTAN’s Deputy National President, Chief Adeolu Ogunbanjo, echoed similar sentiments, calling on the government to fulfill its obligations to the workers. He warned that if ASUU, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (NASU) all go on strike, the university system would collapse.

Ogunbanjo highlighted the recent poor global ranking of Nigerian universities, attributing it to the incessant strikes that disrupt the academic calendar. He urged the government to prioritize its responsibilities and prevent another round of industrial unrest.

The academic and non-academic unions have issued various timelines for their demands to be met, threatening to embark on strike action if their grievances are not addressed. These include the renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement, the payment of withheld salaries, and the implementation of previous agreements.

As the situation remains tense, students and parents are pleading with all parties involved to find a resolution that will ensure the uninterrupted operation of the university system and the continued education of the nation’s youth.