By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Allied Institutions, NISLT Ibadan chapter, Comrade Emmanuel Owoyemi on Monday said there will be no going back on the nationwide sit at home strike embarked upon by workers of various research institutes across the country
Comrade Owoyemi stated this while speaking with newsmen during a protest at the Nigeria Institute of Science Laboratory (NISLT) Ibadan amidst protest by the institute’s workers.
He disclosed that the strike which was as a result of the alleged failure of the Federal government to honour agreement reached with staff of various research institutes across Nigeria in 2013 on funding, conditions of service for research institutes workers and retirement age among others.
The Chairman maintained that the strike will continue as the workers will ” continue to stay at home unless government fulfill its own part of the agreement reached with research institutes workers across the nation.”
Comrade Owoyemi stressed that it was unfortunate that the government ” could not recognize research as a driver of the economy.” saying, “let them known that we are on strike, let them know that research institutes have to be funded, me them know that member of staff are not happy, let them know that you can only drive the economy through research and technology.”
“Let them know that government must know the importance of research, because, you cannot, even the corruption we are fighting you have to fight if even from here. Well we are happy to work for the government. That is why we want you to help us pass the message to the government. We started this strike since 14 of November last year. On the the money they are owing us since 2009 and the government has reached an agreement with us. As we are speaking, they are yet to pay it. All the agreements they reached with us, there is no one they have fulfil. And we are now saying that if government wasn’t to bring about change, they have to honour their own agreement. They need to honour what we have agreed upon. That is why we are now on strike and protesting”. he said.
The Chairman cf gave the striking workersg demands as ” payment of 53.3 wage increase of workers of research institutes since 2009,
special condition of service for staff of research institutes, adequate funding of research institutes, earned allowance of staff,” withdrawal of circular on non-skipping by the federal government as well as establishment of a central body to be known as NARICOM to fund research institutes across the country. “
The Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Allied Institutions, maintained that “failure of the government to meet their demands will mean that workers of research institutes across the nation would continue to sit at home”
Speaking further, he added that the workers were on strike because “strike action is the only language the government understands”. adding, ” that is why we are on strike because that is the only language the government understands”.