Hundreds of members of the Non-academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, at their sixth delegate conference in Abuja yesterday demanded a review of their working condition to correspond with the economic realities of Nigeria.
Specifically, the union asked the government to capitalise on fall in oil price to think of ways to diversify the economy, thus to restore economic life of Nigeria which would in turn improve the living condition of the people.
Welcoming the delegates at the conference, the outgoing president of the union, Comrade Ladi Iliya expressed concern that the current state of the economy was total opposite of what they promised Nigerians during the election campaign.
“The alarming rate of unemployment in Nigeria is a source of concern to our union. The numbers keep increasing by the day as a result of the increasing number of youths graduating from our tertiary institutions yearly, worsened by the winding up of industries that ought to have provided employment opportunity for them,” she said.
She reminded the government of the prolonged demand for the establishment of negotiation council for tertiary institutions to serve as statutory collective machinery that would be responsible for the ad-hoc nature of negotiation in the sector.
The union expressed worries, particularly over the prolonged neglect of state library boards, which she said was fundamental in the development of education in any country, and also served as veritable weapon with which to wage war against illiteracy.
Meanwhile, president of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said that the sixth delegate conference with the theme, ‘Change Agenda: Organised Labour and Revival of Nigeria’s Educational Research Institution and Realistic Development,’ would provide a platform for the union members to take stock of the activities of the outgoing union leaders, with a view to restructuring for an enhanced service by the incoming executives.
Other union executives in their goodwill messages supported NASU’s call for the diversification of the economy, end to corruption, action on the increasing unemployment among the youths and quest for a better working condition of workers.
President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, in his fraternal message told the government that any “change agenda that does not put the workers and people first is obviously bound to fail.