The strike declared by Non Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Senior Staff Academic of Universities (SSANU) yesterday effectively crippled many public universities across the country.
The strike, coming after the one declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has further paralysed activities in the universities.
The three non-teaching unions, under the auspices of Joint Action Committee (JAC), embarked on the industrial action over non-implementation of the 2009 agreement by the Federal Government.
Their demands include the payment of earned allowances to members, a review of the governance system in universities, improved funding in line with UNESCO recommendations.
Provisions of infrastructures in universities and payment of salary shortfall being owed members, implementation of the National Industrial Court judgment on university staff schools, registration of their pension body, NUPEMCO.
Others are implementation of CONTISS 14 and 15 for technologists, improvement of teaching and learning facilities in the universities, stemming the tide of corruption in the university system.
At the University of Lagos (UNILAG), NASU and SSANU leaders confirmed to The Nation that they had joined the strike.
NASU Chairman Mr. Kehinde Ajibade said members of the union endorsed the strike during its congress yesterday and afterwards embarked on an enforcement exercise, which, he said, would continue today.
Mr. Toyin Adebule, Deputy Registrar, Information, said members of NASU, SSANU and NAAT moved round offices to send those working out.
As at the time of this report, NASU, SSANU and NAAT arms of Lagos State University (LASU) were engaged in a prolonged joint congress over the strike.
Calls made to chairmen of SSANU and NASU Comrades Saheed Oseni and Agosu Albert were not answered.
But hours after, Agosu called to apologise.
On enquiry about the strike, Agosu said: “Yes. Here (LASU), we have fully complied (with the strike).”
Also, NASU branch of University of Ibadan yesterday withdrew the services of its members in compliance with the strike.
Members of NAAT and SSANU also joined the industrial action.
Activities at different departments at the university came to near total collapse, except in a few units such as the hospital, security, electrical and power house, where the workers offered skeletal services till 4pm.
At University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), NASU members acceded to their national executives’ directive.
The UNN-NASU was already on a month long internal strike but joined the national body in the nationwide strike as soon as they received the directive.
At the Enugu campus of the UNN, almost all the offices were empty. Only the security personnel were seen patrolling within the university.
In Benue State, the Federal University of Agriculture (FUAM) and Benue State University (BSU) also joined their counterparts on the indefinite strike.
In BSU, as earlier as 8am, the Joint Action Committee of SSANU, NASU and NAAT met and decided to join the strike.
Offices were thereafter closed and workers ordered to leave the school premises.
At University of Agriculture, Makurdi, which is about 10 kilometres away from the city, it was, however, a different story.
At the time The Nation visited the campus, a meeting of the unions’ Joint Action Committee (JAC) was still in progress.
Already, the state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is observing a five-day warning strike over non-payment of salaries.
Business activities in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, are grounded, following the strike action.
Resident doctors and ASUU have also down tools.
SSANU members at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria also heeded the call by its umbrella body to down tools indefinitely.
The striking members mobilised to the university’s main gate at Samaru yesterday with chants of solidarity songs.
Surprisingly too, it was gathered that the three unions in the University of Ilorin (Unilorin) will observe the national directives from today.
Already, the monitoring team of the union had been inaugurated to enforce compliance.
The spokesperson of Unilorin SSANU, Segundo Alabi, said: “The strike action is not against the university management but against the Federal Government.
“Monitoring team for the strike has been inaugurated and they will be moving around to enforce the industrial action.”
The Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB), Abeokuta, was deserted yesterday as members of the SSANU, ASU and NAAT joined the industrial action.