As the indefinite strike action of Joint Unions of Research Institutes and Allied Institutions in the country enters its fifth week, there is no hope in sight of early resolution, as the parties are yet to reach a consensus.
The action of the unions, has grounded activities at agriculture institutions across the country denying access into 15 affected Research institutes.
The affected research institutes are the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER); and Institute of Agricultural Research & Training and Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria and the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, Abia State.
The national President of Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA), Prof Segun Adewumi, said: “The institutes based on their mandates ,should be ahead of innovations that can add value to the sector, but for them to be on strike, it doesn’t portend good thing for the country. I want government to quickly address their agitations.”
Chairman of Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions (JORAISU), and General Secretary of NASU, Comrade Peters Adeyemi, while speaking with newsmen, said that the Union began the strike after a 15-day ultimatum given to the government on October 30, 2017 went unacknowledged.
Explaining the cause of the strike, the Chairman, FIIRO Branch, Comrade Engr. John Odoh, said that the workers are owed arrears of “53.37 percent salary increase; withdrawal of circular on non-skipping of grade level 10; retirement age of 65 years for non-research staff, obtainable in the university; and peculiar allowance/earned allowances.”
Other demands of the striking unions are the establishment of a central body to be known as National Research Institutes Commission (NARICON); adequate funding of research institutes; and release of condition of scheme of service.
On the efforts taken to resolve the situation with the government, Odoh said that there has been about three meetings that have been held since the strike started. They maintained that the strike would continue until their demands are met.