Being a student in Nigeria can easily pass for the most strenuous job on the planet. Having to study a 4 years degree course for 5 or 6 years is quite frustrating. Talk of the unavailability of basic amenities and the poor facilities and infrastructures that plague the Nigeria education system. The inability of the government to pay teachers and lecturers their salaries for work done as at when due. All these and many more have led to incessant strikes in the tertiary institution system. The average Nigerian students spends between 3-5 years plus X, where X is unknown.
Just before the lockdown in March 2020, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on a union strike that spanned 10 months. The Union’s grievances were the inability of the government to pay their salaries. Who could blame them? Who wants to work for months without pay? It is insensitive and wicked on the part of the government to allow its citizens to labour, yet, without paying them as at when due. And, with no just reasons.
Early in the year, the government and ASUU found grey areas to discuss. This enabled the union to return back to work, thereby, allowing students to resume fully in school.
However, the recent actions of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) is one for concern. Talk of insensitivity. It is the wrong time for another body to embark on a strike at the moment. This only proves that the lives of the meaning Nigeria youths do not matter to these people. It is just a game of ping-pong to them. Why now? After a 10 month long ASUU strike, why now?
The fear of many Nigerian students is staying home longer than this. Having to stay on one level for over 2 years. Not just is it insensitive and barbaric of the union to embark on a strike at a time like this, it is pure evil. The Union’s actions should be called to question.
However, here is the silver lining for University students, the leadership of the National Association of Non-Teaching Staff of Nigerian Universities (NANTS) have pulled out of NASU. Speaking to press men, the National President, Comrade Niyi Akinnibi, on behalf of the Union describe the actions of NASU as “a failed and amorphous union whose interest is where to derive check-off dues.”
The president further urged the federal government not to implement the NO WORK, NO PAY directive as its members are not on strike. In other words, the Nigerian student populace can rest assured that the threats by NASU has no effect on them. The actions of the union are of their own prerogative and no University in the country supports them.