Students express mixed feelings over ASUU suspended strike

Some university students have expressed mixed feelings about the suspension of the strike embarked upon for nine months by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Some of the students told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that they were happy about the suspension of the strike and pleaded for a lasting solution so as to avoid a repeat.

Others said they had acquired new skills that would help them in their future endeavours and were ready for the fresh year.

Sunday Lucky, a student of the University of Ilorin, said that the unexpected break had been hard on him.

“Some students who live off campus had to leave their homes because they couldn’t pay rent,’’ he said.

Lucky said, however, that he used the off-school period to learn a new skill for his betterment.

Another student, Gladys Ajite, said she didn’t expect the strike to last long, but that she spent the time to expand her online business.

Ajite, a student of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi, said the strike had benefitted her financially and would still benefit her in spite of being called off.

“I have always been a business tycoon and now I can proudly beat my chest that I am a successful crypto and online marketer,’’ she said.

A student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Chukwuemeka Vitus, said he was very happy when the strike was announced due to excess academic pressure and stress, but didn’t expect it to be suspended.

“This strike has made me to learn new things though I have forgotten most of what I learnt in school,’’ he said.

Vitus didn’t hesitate to add that though he wasn’t fully ready to resume school, he was happy that the strike had been suspended.

ASUU began a warning strike on March 9, 2020 and embarked on a full-blown strike on March 23, 2020.

It suspended the strike on Dec 23, 2020 after series of negotiations with the Federal Government. (NAN)

NLC rejects new electricity hike

THE Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday said it would use every available means to resist the new increase in the electricity tariff.

The NLC also accused the Federal Government of deceit and insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians at this period the Coronavirus pandemic has caused havoc to the people, adding that if the action of the government was not resisted, exploitation in the country would have no end.

President of the Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who reacted to the sudden hike in electricity tariff said that it would have a toll on manufacturers in the country which would, in turn, lead to job loss.

He said, “This is not only condemnable but I think there is some element of deceit in it because there is a standing committee of the federal government which the electricity regulatory commission is part of it still working on how to be able to address the issue of electricity hike arising from the last hike which labour intervened.

“Most of the members are not even aware of this current Increase. Basically, we are going to resist it and Nigerians must also stand up to resist it because it’s like exploitation it means that this exploitation will not have an end and when you look at the variable it is even laughable.

“You are looking at the variable of Inflation, and the variable of the exchange rate which is supposed to be part of the responsibility of the government to fix. The Government ought to fix our economy and bring the exchange rate to the lowest level, same with also Inflation and therefore it is transferring inefficiency in our system by the government now to the consumers which the implication will be very severe.

“Most of our manufacturers both small and medium scale will not be able to afford all of this, they have been crying and the implication is that there will be some lay off because people will now resort to importation, most of these small and medium-term enterprises will resort to importation instead of producing here at home.

“It will also affect the diversification policy and certainly it will further impoverish Nigerians especially workers because currently, we are under the yoke of paying excessive charges overall services and this on this very important commodity is the worst.

“It is really unfortunate also because in may climes, the government is subsidising power because of the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, health and impact of COVID-19 in the world of work including African countries.”

Accusing the government of insensitivity, Wabba further said, “We have statistics of countries that have actually assisted to make sure that electricity tariff is even suspended for some time and there have not been any increase.

“But unfortunately, I do not think we have looked at all of these and the implication is that there will be grave consequences if this is not really challenged.

“And very soon, organised labour will try to look at the issue and we respond appropriately, that I will assure you because it has bastardised the work of this very Important committee that we thought social dialogue will be able to bring the solution.

“It is one issue that affects every family, every home, and business. It is a very sensitive issue that the government ought to be very sensitive to. I have said time without numbers that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission,
NERC is hand in glove with the service providers Instead of siding with the customers.

“Even the very important laws that are put in place to guide such arbitrary increase have not been respected. For instance, the customers’ forum which I remember we held in Kano where all of us resisted this particular increase because it has no basis. In fact, part of the work the committee is doing is to look at the price of gas to the generating firms to be able to bring down even the current price before this increase so basically it has certainly also bastardised the process of social dialogue.

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FG Hikes Electricity Tariff Again

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has approved over 50 per cent hike in electricity tariff payable by customers of the 11 Distribution Companies, DisCos.

This is coming just two months after it finally implemented a much opposed hike in November 2020.

According to a revised Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) signed by the new Chairman of NERC, Engr. Sanusi Garba, on December 30, 2020, and sighted Tuesday, the new tariff increase took effect on January 1, 2021, and supersedes the previous Order NERC/2028/2020.

In the new Order NERC/225/2020, the commission said it considered the 14.9% inflation rate rise in November 2020, foreign exchange of N379.4/$1 as of December 29, 2020, available generation capacity, US inflation rate of 1.22% and the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) of the power firms to raise the tariff.

The revised Service Based Tariff (SBT) also saw increase in the rates payable by all classes of electricity users unlike the one of November 2020, that exempted low power getters.

This is effective till June 2021 while a Cost Reflective Tariff (CRT) expected to raise the new cost higher will be activated from June to December 2021, the NERC Order revealed.

In December, 2020, NERC notified that it had begun a review for another tariff, which has been completed and had taken effect from January 1, 2021.

NERC had raised tariff for the DisCos in September but that drew outrages from customers and the organised labour, prompting the federal government to suspend it while parties dialogued.

By November 1, 2020, the suspended tariff was implemented after some discounts were given for customers who get 12 hours and above power supply daily.

However, those with less than 12 hour supply did not get a tariff hike, according to the NERC order of November 2020.

 

Polytechnic Staff Begins Two Weeks Warning Strike

The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, SSANIP, has embarked on a 14-day warning strike starting from Jan. 4 to press home their demands.

The directives to embark on the strike is contained in a release signed by the Acting National Secretary of the association, Comrade Emmanuel Enyiegor on Monday in Calabar.

The association said that the reason for the warning strike was occasioned by the constant neglect of the demands of the association by federal and state governments, in spite of several efforts made.

“This is to bring to the attention of all the members that the General Executive Council had on Dec. 17 2020, approved the commencement of 14-day warning strike with effect from Jan. 4.

“Members are by this notice directed to refrain from going to office from Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

“We demand the immediate re-evaluation and implementation of NEEDS assessment report and release of funds for the Polytechnic sector without further delay.

“We demand the complete payment of salaries and arrears of minimum wage for staff in the Polytechnic sector starting from the period of implementation in April 2019.

“We demand the release of a scheme of service for Polytechnics immediately. This has been put on hold by the National Board for Technical Education for three years without any concrete explanation,” the release stated.

The Association, however, expressed displeasure with the state governments of Benue, Cross River, Abia, Ondo, Ogun, Osun and Kano for their refusal to non-payment of correct outstanding salaries to staff of the Polytechnics and Colleges of Health.

“The union decries the nonchalant attitude of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System to issues of SSANIP as regards salaries of members.

“We demand the constitution of Governing Councils in all federal and state Polytechnics,” the release stated

 

Polytechnic Staff Begins Two Weeks Warning Strike

The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, SSANIP, has embarked on a 14-day warning strike starting from Jan. 4 to press home their demands.

The directives to embark on the strike is contained in a release signed by the Acting National Secretary of the association, Comrade Emmanuel Enyiegor on Monday in Calabar.

The association said that the reason for the warning strike was occasioned by the constant neglect of the demands of the association by federal and state governments, in spite of several efforts made.

“This is to bring to the attention of all the members that the General Executive Council had on Dec. 17 2020, approved the commencement of 14-day warning strike with effect from Jan. 4.

“Members are by this notice directed to refrain from going to office from Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

“We demand the immediate re-evaluation and implementation of NEEDS assessment report and release of funds for the Polytechnic sector without further delay.

“We demand the complete payment of salaries and arrears of minimum wage for staff in the Polytechnic sector starting from the period of implementation in April 2019.

“We demand the release of a scheme of service for Polytechnics immediately. This has been put on hold by the National Board for Technical Education for three years without any concrete explanation,” the release stated.

The Association, however, expressed displeasure with the state governments of Benue, Cross River, Abia, Ondo, Ogun, Osun and Kano for their refusal to non-payment of correct outstanding salaries to staff of the Polytechnics and Colleges of Health.

“The union decries the nonchalant attitude of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System to issues of SSANIP as regards salaries of members.

“We demand the constitution of Governing Councils in all federal and state Polytechnics,” the release stated

 

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