Non-teaching staff in the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) on Thursday concluded a three-day nationwide protests to press home their demands which centred on the controversial Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System(IPPIS) and sharing formula of the N40 billion Earned Academic allowances.
The placard-carrying protesters, under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee, which consists of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, said they would report to work on Friday morning after three days of marching and demonstrating throughout the campus also for non-payment of arrears of the new minimum wage, among others.
The protest ended peacefully at noon Thursday in front of FUTO Senate Building, with the leaders of the unions directing their members to resume work.
Speaking to journalists during the last day of the protest, FUTO NASU chairman, Sam Iwuala, lamented that the federal government had refused to address the protesting university workers in the past three days.
He said the unions would take a decision on Monday and might shut down the federal capital territory with their members if the federal government went ahead to ignore the demands of the workers.
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National woman leader of JAC, Nti Agnes said the essence of the three day protest was because of the failure of the federal government to keep to the agreement since 2009 and that of October, 2020.
She said the workers want immediate reversal of all their peculiar allowances which had been removed, as well as the disbandment of the committee set up by federal government for universities as that d did not have past non-teaching management staff of universities.
“If the the federal government neglects us up till Monday, we cannot guarantee what would happen next in Nigerian Universities,” Nti said.
Acting chairman of FUTO SSANU, Comrade Uchenna Nwokeji said the workers were still expecting the federal government to positively react by Monday.
He lamented that the standard of Nigerian universities was going down frequently because of selfish interest by those who were supposed to protect and improve the standard.
Nwokeji used the opportunity to call on the federal government to limit the powers of vice Chancellors of federal universities, saying “They’re turning to emperos. They should allow governing council members to exercise their powers of checkmating the excesses of vice Chancellors”.
He also called on the state governors to stop politicising state universities for the common good of citizens of the state and the nation at large.
“The state university doesn’t belong to governors. It belongs to the people. The more the governors keep politicising the appointment of vice Chancellors, the more they keep eroding the quality and standard of f teaching and learning in our universities,” he said.