Varsity workers’ strike: UNILAG suspends screening, OAU shuts down

Entrance of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife on Tuesday. Photo: Sodiq Oyeleke

The management of the University of Lagos has postponed the screening exercise for prospective students.

This is as workers at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, have shut down the institution.

They also paralysed activities in the institution, ensuring that neither academic nor administrative duties were carried out.

According to a release by the UNILAG management, the screening of prospective students was suspended as a result of the protest by non-academic staff of the university.

It will be recalled that non-academic staff across government-owned universities in Nigeria are currently on an indefinite strike over what they termed “disparity” in the sharing of N23bn earned allowance recently released by the Federal Government to university workers.

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The UNILAG management, which earlier asked all newly admitted Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination undergraduate candidates to converge on its Multipurpose Hall A, said the screening has been postponed indefinitely.

The release said, “The Management of the University of Lagos wishes to inform the general public that the screening exercise of UTME candidates admitted on merit, which commenced on Monday, has been suspended following the disruption of normal academic and administrative activities by the on-going industrial action.

“The screening exercise earlier scheduled for Monday to Friday has been postponed till further notice. New dates would be communicated soon. All candidates are enjoined to check the university website regularly for continued updates.”

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On OAU campus, the workers blocked all roads leading to the university, shut the health centre and refused to supply water and electricity.

Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union of the OAU, Wole Odewunmi, described the action of the FG as “ridiculous.”

Also, Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Ademola Oketunde, said it was wrong for the FG to undermine their importance in the education sector.

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He said, “The strike is total, comprehensive and indefinite. We are fully involved. As I speak to you, the university’s health centre, staff school, power house and other places have been shut down.

“Even the staff school examination will be suspended till further notice. We are also important people in the system.”

It was learnt that students and lecturers of the OAU trekked long distances to exit the university campus when the effect of the shut down worsened.

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