Kogi bans unions in higher educational institutions

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By Friday Idachaba

Bogged by activities of unions over non-payment of salaries, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has banned activities of Joint Action Committee (JAC) of trade unions and trade unionism in state-owned tertiary institutions.

Bello announced the ban in a broadcast in Lokoja on Wednesday.

He accused trade unionism in tertiary institutions of impeding government holistic reforms.

The affected unions are the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Trade Unions of Tertiary Institutions owned by Kogi State are referred to:
Others are the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) and The Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN).
Others are the National Associations of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and any other Union operating in any tertiary Institutions owned by the Kogi State Government.

He said he had respect for the rights of all citizens to responsibly associate and pursue their welfare within the ambits of the law and norms of a democratic society.

The governor said his administration had made tremendous progress in resolving all issues relating to adequacy and frequency of remuneration for all categories of Civil Servants in the State.

He reiterated his respect for the rights of labour unions in relations to the responsibilities of the owners and proprietors of tertiary academic institutions.

Bello, however, regretted that the state-owned tertiary institutions’ trade unionism had let itself to impeding government’s efforts to carry out “holistic reforms in the civil service through its unjustified industrial actions.

“The branch of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) in Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, has proceeded on yet another strike for alleged non-payment of salaries and emoluments irrespective of clear evidence of government’s good faith and efforts contradicting JAC’s position,” he said.

The governor said there was evidence of massive embezzlement at Kogi State Polytechnic’s earnings in excess of N157m committed under JAC’s nose.

Bello assured that his government remained committed to meeting its obligations to all genuine employees of the state as promptly as available resources would permit.

“Government will work to ensure uninterrupted academic calendar, henceforth, in all basic education, secondary and tertiary academic institutions in Kogi State.