The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has thrown its weight behind a planned protest by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over the ongoing strike by university lecturers under the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, had, on July 1, said that the NLC would embark on a nationwide protest if the strike persists.
The strike by ASUU has been on for almost five months since it began on February 14.
Other workers’ unions across the nation’s universities have also embarked on similar industrial actions, grounding completely both academic and non-academic activities across public ivory towers nationwide.
In a statement, NUPENG condemned the attitude of the government towards finding a lasting solution to the incessant strike.
It, therefore, noted that “the rank-and-file members of NUPENG align with the NLC’s position on protest against the unfortunate situation in the tertiary education sector and will not hesitate to join in the proposed nationwide strike on the matter.”
NUPENG’s position is contained in a statement jointly signed by Williams Akporeha, NUPENG President and Afolabi Olawale, NUPENG General Secretary.
The organisation said it is worried and concerned about the prolonged ASUU, NASU, SSANU strike that has crippled activities in Nigerian public universities.
“NUPENG demands together with other Trade Unions, that the Federal Government must immediately address and resolve all demands of ASUU, NASU and SSANU without any further delay to avert national solidarity actions from our members across the Country,” parts of the statement read.
“The inion joins other unions to condemn the lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Government towards finding a lasting solution to the crisis.
“We are deeply worried that the strike has left thousands of university students stranded and idle, making some of them susceptible to go into various social vices and crimes, thus truncating what otherwise should have been wonderful assets and blessings to our great nation and humanity”.
It accused the government of insensitivity to the plight of Nigerian parents and students who have been thrown into idleness since the commencement of the strike.
NUPENG further added: “This also, without doubt, shows the insensitivity of the current administration towards promoting and projecting good and quality education.
“We are seriously concerned that instead of addressing the nagging issues in the educational sector, the unscrupulous politicians are busy campaigning and wasting resources over 2023 general elections.”
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