By Friday Idachaba
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Wednesday announced the ban on the activities of Joint Action Committee (JAC) of trade unions and all forms of trade unionism in state-owned tertiary institutions.
Bello, who made the announcement in a broadcast in Lokoja on Wednesday accused trade unionism in tertiary institutions of impeding government holistic reforms.
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 relation 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 of 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.
“For the avoidance of doubt, and except where specified otherwise, references herein to the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Trade Unions of Tertiary Institutions owned by Kogi State are referred to:
“The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU). The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP). The Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU). The 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.