Despite FG’s Release of N15billion, COEASU Vows to Continue Strike
Despite the release of N15billion by the federal government out of the N456billion revitalization fund recommended for both Federal and State own Colleges of Education across the country, the College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has vowed not call off its nationwide strike action being embarked upon till all it demands are met.
Although the federal government has began negotiations with COEASU which has led to the release of the N15billion so far, the union said it will review the ongoing strike when the National Executive Council meet in Kano state on the 18th of this month, but insisted that there is no plan to call off the three weeks old strike.
Speaking with newsmen in Minna, the Niger state capital on Friday shortly after monitoring the level of compliance by COEASU members, Niger State College of Education Chapter on the strike, the Vice President and Zonal Coordinator, north central of COEASU, Comrade Noel Danlami pointed out that the union has always being moderate in all it demands but decided to take this hard stance because the union has being pushed to the wall.
While expressing satisfaction with the level of compliance by the state college of education COEASU, Comrade Danlami maintained that the issue of calling off the strike is not in anyway on the table for now.
According to him, before embarking on the industrial action, the federal government ignored the union, adding that the union painstakingly decided to proceed on the strike as the last option.
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“But the good news is that the government has began the process of negotiating with us. The re-negotiations of our 2010 agreement which is part of our grievances is already receiving attention and the pledge of the release of N15billion revitalization fund for colleges of educations in the country had also being met.
“Other issues of agitations is being considered but this is not to say that we have arrived at the promise land but we are making progress, and we hope that the federal government see reasons to meet our demands.
“This time around I can assured the public that COEASU is serious and determined to carry on with the strike. For long time now we have waited for the government to no avail. This is the time to make sure that the government do the needful”, he added.
He disclosed that the current fight is all about the interest and the welfare of the union members alone, stressing that “our struggle is in the best interest of the entire colleges of education system. The issues borders around infrastructural decay, and the General neglect of the colleges of education in the country, we can not watch the system collapse totally”.
The College of Education, Minna branch Chairman of COEASU, Comrade Ibrahim Mohammed Hassan said the union will continue to ensure full compliance of the strike action as long as it lasted, adding that “we have no problem the College here but we are only complying with National directives”.
Other demands of the Union are non-payment of responsibility allowance to Librarian in Colleges of Education, poor funding of Colleges of Education and poor condition of state owned Colleges of Education and above all, the Federal Government’s recalcitrant insistence on IPPIS against more reliable alternative of UTAS.