Non-academic activities were, on Monday, paralysed at the University of Benin, due to the industrial action embarked upon by the two major non-academic staff unions in tertiary institutions.
The unions, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Allied Institutions (NASU), on Feb. 5th declared an indefinite strike action, to press home their demands with the Federal Government.
A News Agency of Nigeria’s (NAN) correspondent, who monitored compliance with the strike action, reports that all major activities were affected except lectures.
Also, some officials of the two unions were seen keeping vigil in front of the bursary office to ensure total compliance.
Except for the Vice-Chancellor office, others such as academic and records, academic planning and bursary were all shut down.
Speaking with NAN, Mr Brodrick Osewa, Chairman, SSANU, University of Benin chapter, expressed delight with the compliance level.
Osewa, who is also the Chairman, Joint Action Committee of the two Unions, Benin branch, said that the compliance level had been very high, pointing out that the strike would continue until the Federal Government met their demands.
“We signed an agreement in October 2020 that between that time and November, our minimum wage arrears would be paid, as well as issues around our Earned Allowance resolved.
“Other things that we put together, such as our IPPIS irregularities is also not yet addressed. It is for the government to do the needful. Government does not need to wait again because the matter has been over flogged. So, we believe that they will see reason with us and act accordingly”, Osewa explained.
He, however, explained that the Vice Chancellor’s office was spared because he is a principal officer.
Andy Igbinosa, the Chairman of NASU, commended the members for their compliance, saying that the union would continue to monitor and enforce compliance until the strike was called off.
Meanwhile, a former student of the school, Mrs Judith Igafen, who came to collect her certificate from the institution, expressed disappointment with the strike action.
“I left what I was supposed to do today for the certificate, but unfortunately I couldn’t collect it because they are on strike. I am highly disappointed because I could have used the time to do something else”, she said.