By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, has expressed dismay over the alleged usurpation of University Governing Councils’ functions by the Federal Government agents, especially the Head of Service of the Federation, HoSF.
SSANU also described as a nullity, the recent Education Summit organised by the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, saying that the summit did not involve some important stakeholders in the university system.
The non teaching staff in the universities lamented the inflationary trend in the country with the purchasing power of the Naira being drastically reduced so much that every good in the market has been taken over by galloping inflation leaving many Nigerians groaning in abject poverty.
SSANU in a communique at the end of its 42nd Regular National Executive Council, NEC, at University of Calabar by association’s National President, Mohammed Ibrahim, frowned at the non payment of the four months salary arrears owed its members during the nationwide strike embarked upon by university based unions over the inability of the Federal Government to implement the 2009 Agreement with the unions as well as the controversy surrounding the use of Integrated Payroll and Payment Information System, IPPIS.
On the alleged usurpation of university council powers and functions, SSANU said: “NEC in session noted with dismay the ugly emerging trend of incursion and seizing of the powers and functions of the University Governing Councils by some agencies and offices of government.
“Statutorily, Council is the highest and final decision making organ in any University. It has been observed with grave concern that some overzealous government agents are trying to truncate this process.
“For example, we now hear of circulars from HOS of the Federation, directing universities on how, when and the number of persons that should be promoted at any given time.
“It should be noted that at no time has the Head of Service been part of the promotion of staff of universities. Personnel decisions in the university system end with the Governing Councils, where a representative of the Federal Ministry of Education is also a member.
“NEC resolved that Councils of universities do their work devoid of interference by the Office of the HOS or any other agent for that matter. NEC clearly says no to the usurpation of the powers of Council in relation to the promotion of our members in universities and Inter-University Centres.”