The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) on Friday issued a 21- day ultimatum to the government asking it to urgently address the teething issues in contention or face industrial action.
COEASU gave the ultimatum during a press conference in Jos addressed by Mr. Noah Danlami, Vice President and Zonal Coordinator, North Central Zone.
Danlami lamented the continuous and outright neglect by government the plight of the COEs, “has adversely affected the smooth running of these institutions that are vested with the constitutional responsibility of training the manpower needs of the primary and junior secondary school levels.
“It has become crystal clear that the governments at all levels have taken the maturity and diplomatic approach of our Union in the resolution of contentious issues with them as a symbol of weakness.”
The group said it was unfortunate that this posture of the government readily prompted the national body of the union to convene a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at Okene between May 4t and May 6 during which issues were examined.
“It’s disheartening that several months after the Federal Government had requested COEASU to constitute a negotiating team to renegotiate the 2010 agreement between COEASU and the government, it is yet to constitute its own renegotiation Committee let alone kick start the process of the renegotiation.
“The flagrant refusal of the government to release the N15 billion pledged revitalization fund made in 2019, and the outstanding N478 billion presidential Needs Assessment Fund Agreement is very uncalled for.
“Poor Funding of Colleges of Education and poor conditions of service for state-owned colleges, especially Colleges in the North Central Zone of our union is unacceptable,” he said.
He warned that failure to address these legitimate and critical demands with the urgency they deserve would leave all Colleges of Education in the zone with no option than to fully support and participate in any industrial action that may be declared by the national body of COEASU.
The spokesman explained that within the North Central Zone, many state governments have abdicated their responsibilities to their state-owned COEs to TET-Fund which he said, “is unacceptable to our Union.”
Danlami expressed the hope that the government at all levels and other critical stakeholders in the education sector would not allow the situation to degenerate to a level of industrial disharmony.
The Vice president noted that any strike allowed would be counterproductive to the realization of the laudable goals for which COEs were established and the general growth and development of the education sector of our nation.