THE Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has advocated the extension of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) intervention funds to the research institutions.
According to the resolution issued at the end of its 6th quadrennial delegates’ conference in Abuja, the union said such intervention will help push meeting the UNESCO recommended 26% of annual budgetary allocation to the education sector.
A communiqué issued at the conference read in part: “NASU calls on TETFUND to extend its intervention funds to Research Institutes which hitherto enjoyed the services of the defunct Education Trust Fund, (ETF) by virtue of the fact that they are also Tertiary Institutions.”
The union also flayed the continued fuel crisis in the country despite being one of the leading crude oil producing countries in the world.
“Whereas the prices of petroleum products have risen from 9k to N87 per litre in the last 35 years and subsidy not only remained but has continued to be elastic. Nigeria has continued to rely on the importation of petroleum products thereby leading to continuous crisis with the supply of petroleum products to her citizens and businesses against the background of what obtains in other oil producing countries.
The nation over the years has gone through very trying and challenging times as it relates to the endless crisis in our oil and gas sector,” the union said.
The communiqué, which was jointly signed by the President, Chris Ani and General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, noted that importation of petroleum products has taken the cost of the products far above the affordability of average Nigerians.
It added: “NASU is worried that the successive governments have failed to demonstrate the political will at addressing the issue of building new refineries, and adequately maintaining the existing ones for optimal productions for local consumption and exports coupled with the fact that the nation’s refineries have failed to operate at installed capacity in spite of the billions of Naira spent on their Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) thereby causing the nation to perpetually rely on importation of petroleum products.”
It however noted with discomfort that successive governments have been subsiding the cost of importation of the products in order to cushion the effect of importation on the citizens and the economy of the nation.
The Conference-in-Session therefore resolved to support the present administration’s fight against corruption in the oil and gas sector while calling on the Federal Government to sustain existing refineries and build new ones in order to take the country out of perennial reliance on importation of petroleum products.
The union also said while extant labour laws provide that every worker employed on temporary basis should have his appointment regularized within six months of such appointment thereby ensuring job security, past governments had in line with the extant Labour Laws and in the spirit of promoting job security abolished casual jobs in the public service. Despite this move, NASU expressed disappointment over the rate at which some chief executives of educational and allied institutions indulge in large-scale casualization and outsourcing of labour in their establishments.
The Conference-in-Session condemned all acts of casualization and outsourcing of jobs in the federal and state public services and called on the federal and state governments to stop all forms of violations of extant Labour Laws in the country through acts of casualization and outsourcing of jobs in their public services.
The conference thereby empowered the national secretariat of the union to take all administrative and legal actions against any defaulting employers.