By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has urged the Federal Government to resuscitate its four oil refineries and make them operational.
Mr Peters Adeyemi, the General Secretary of NASU, made the call on Monday during an interview with newsmen on the sidelines of the 2023 Quadrennial Delegates Conference/Election in Ilorin, Kwara.
The programme consist of Universities and Inter-University Centres Trade Group Council, held at the University of Ilorin (Unilorin)
Adeyemi appealed that Nigerian oil refineries must start working to ensure that the country produced what the citizens consumed.
He urged the government to investigate all monies committed to refineries repairs in the country and ensure adequate security to prevent the smuggling of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to neighbouring countries.
The NASU general secretary decried the treatment of members by the government, saying “we are yet to receive their outstanding salaries during the strike actions we were forced into”.
He added that the issue of Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system (IPPIS) has created crisis in salaries of members, including delayed payment, haphazard payment, allowance omission and lack of payment.
Adeyemi explained that the conference was expected to deliberate on finding lasting solutions to issues such as the hardship associated with the removal of subsidy and setting agenda for the next four years.
Prof. Wahab Egbewole, the Vice Chancellor of Unilorin, said that tertiary education was going through turbulent times.
Egbewole, who was represented by Prof. Olubunmi Omotesho, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) of the university, stated that NASU had become a crucial component of universities and Inter-University union.
He called on the unions to collaborate and work together to move the education system forward, saying that no country can develop without addressing problem confronting its education.
He urged the union to therefore, deliberate on challenges of access to education and autonomy of universities.
“Financial issues, curriculum and ‘Japa syndrome’ must be addressed. A lot of staff are leaving the country and it is becoming difficult to replace them.
“The state of the tertiary education in Nigeria is tied to the state of the economy. No country can make progress without developing the state of its education,” he said.
Mrs Roseline Adebayo, the Chairperson, Kwara State Chapter of NASU, observed that the recent removal of subsidy on petrol amidst high inflation had resulted to increase in price of other commodities in the market.
According to her, the increase has eroded all gains of the New Minimum Wage approved by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This precarious situation is a serious threat that could have truncated the delegates journeys and made the National Secretariat call for ratification of tenure elongation for all levels of officers serving our union in this critical time.
“Universities and Inter-Universities Trade Group is key to NASU operation and our leaders cannot treat matters concerning this trade group with kid glove,” she said.
Earlier in his welcome, Mr Suberu Ibrahim, the Unilorin Branch Chairman, commended members for their perseverance, diligence and sacrifice and also thanked them for the support giving to his executive.
He advised members to be more proactive and pragmatic in their approach to ensure that NASU realised its lofty goals and ideas without losing her long-sustained accomplishment and fame. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Benson Iziama/Muhammad Suleiman Tola