BY; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Worried by happenings at the National Institute for Trypanosomiasis Research (NITR), its staff have on Monday April 11, 2022, embarked on a three-day warning strike.
The angry workers were sighted as early as 8am at the Institute, where they sealed all entrances, placing placards with various inscriptions at strategic locations.
Addressing the workers and newsmen who stormed the scene,
Chairman Non Academic Staff (NASU) NITR, Moyijo Hussaini explained that workers rights are guaranteed by the provisions the Labour Act 1990 and the international labour Organization (ILO) conventions, particularly conventions 27 and 98, which includes right of freedom of association and collective bargaining.
“Also, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly (section 40) of the 1999 constitution of the FederalRepublic of Nigeria (as Amended) to its citizens including children,” he said.
According to him, he Academic staff onion of Research and Educational Institutions (ASURI),Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals in Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRAI) and non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) are umbrella for all Research and non – research staff in government agencies and allied institutions.
“These bodies apart from their primary responsibilitiesof protecting the interest of its members, ensuring good andbetter working conditions are meant to cummulatively helpenhance national economic growth through innovative researchand technology intervention in all spheres of our economy.
“But as can be seen in recent times, these main objectives havebeen eroded due to maladministration of our institute.
“It is disheartening at this point in time when the minister
of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu isputting his best to reshape the ministry at its rightdirection to achieve the desired goals of PresidentMuhammadu Buhari (GCFR),” he pointed out.
According to him, the overseeing Director General of Nigerian Institute for Trypanosomiasis Research (NITR) Kaduna, Dr (Mrs) F.N.C. Enwezor has been creating industrial disharmony among the Institute since assumption of duty.
“These among was misleading the governing council, the labour unions. Others include non Recognition of Revised 2019 Condition of Services, training without due process,” he said.
According to him, other acts the staff find distasteful are insubordination.
The union chairman said that Chapter 3 of the Revised Condition of Service for Federal Research institutes states thatResearch Department/programme officers eligible to hold the position of Head of Departmentprogramme shall normally be of a higher level than those she is putting there, alleging nepotism.
The union lamented that other grievances they hold are related to Hazard & High risk allowances.
They therefore, called on the Minister, Ogbonnaya Onu to appoint a substantive director general for the institute.