Home » NASU’s 8th Quadrennial Delegates Conference addresses Key Labour and Education Issues

NASU’s 8th Quadrennial Delegates Conference addresses Key Labour and Education Issues

by Editor

In a gathering of trade unionists, labour leaders, and esteemed guests, the Universities and Inter-University Centres Trade Group Council convened its 8th Quadrennial Delegates Conference at the University of Ilorin on September 11, 2023. 

The two-day event, which serves as a platform for discussion, evaluation, and the election of new leadership, witnessed the delivery of several addresses highlighting the achievements, challenges, and hopes for the future of the trade group.

Comrade Suberu Haruna Ibrahim, Branch Chairman of the University of Ilorin, commenced the conference with a warm welcome address. He emphasized the importance of the Quadrennial Delegates Conference in providing a means to account for the outgoing leadership’s stewardship and usher in new leadership.

In his speech, Comrade Ibrahim praised the unity achieved during his tenure and highlighted several accomplishments during his leadership, including the construction of a new NASU UNILORIN Secretariat, improvements in members’ welfare, and maintaining a good working relationship with other unions and the University Management.

One significant achievement he mentioned was the acquisition of land for the proposed NASU hostel building, with a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for the same day as the conference. He also stressed the importance of promoting proactive and pragmatic approaches to ensure NASU’s continued success.

Comrade Suberu Haruna Ibrahim called for a renewed hope for an unshakable union and a promising future for NASU at the University of Ilorin. 

On her part, Comrade Adebayo Roseline, the Chairperson of NASU Kwara State Council, welcomed the delegates and emphasized the need for unity and cooperation within the trade union movement. She expressed concern about the challenging conditions of roads, insecurity, and economic issues in Nigeria.

She highlighted the impact of the removal of the petrol subsidy on the cost of living and called for government intervention to address this issue. Comrade Adebayo also acknowledged the challenges faced by NASU in the past and praised the leadership’s efforts in turning the union around positively.

She encouraged all contestants in the upcoming elections to play by the rules, abide by the constitution, and prioritize the collective gains of NASU over personal interests.

Comrade Adebayo stressed the importance of maintaining unity and solidarity within NASU and the broader labor movement.

Turning her attention to the Universities and Inter-Universities Trade Group, Comrade Adebayo Roseline emphasized its significance within NASU operations. She stressed that the Trade Group played a crucial role, often adopting and implementing negotiations achieved through the University Trade Group for the benefit of its members in various Trade Groups.

Addressing the growing interest in contesting positions within the union, she reminded delegates that NASU had experienced challenging times in the past when leaders had to practically plead with members to run for positions.

However, she commended the leadership for turning things around positively for the union, resulting in increased interest in leadership roles.

Comrade Adebayo Roseline urged all contestants to adhere to the NASU constitution, elections guidelines, and the outcomes of the upcoming elections, emphasizing the importance of unity within the NASU family. She stressed that NASU had become a union that others looked up to, and its collective gains should be prioritized over personal interests.

Also, Comrade Buhari Suleiman, the Deputy President of the Universities and Inter-University Centres Trade Group Council, welcomed attendees to the historic event. He commended the outgoing leadership for their dedication and mentioned that it marked the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.

Comrade Suleiman emphasized the importance of conducting free and fair elections within the trade union and urged all delegates to uphold the principles of democracy.

He also addressed critical national issues, including funding for education, fuel subsidy removal, security concerns, and corruption.

Regarding education funding, he called on the government to increase budgetary allocation to the education sector, emphasizing the need for adequate funding to maintain quality standards in Nigerian institutions.

On the issue of fuel subsidy removal, Comrade Suleiman acknowledged the economic challenges it had posed to Nigerians and called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to protect the rights of those affected and manage the saved funds wisely.

He also highlighted the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria and urged the government and security apparatus to prioritize the safety of citizens.

He also addressed the rampant issue of corruption in the country, suggesting the implementation of strict measures, including capital punishment for confirmed cases, to deter potential offenders.

Comrade Suleiman, however, expressed profound appreciation to the National President, General Secretary, delegates, members, invited guests, and the University of Ilorin for their support and cooperation. He wished all attendees a successful conference and safe journeys back to their destinations.

The State Controller of Labour and Employment, Alhaji Yusuf L.R. urged the union to go beyond discussing and resolving election-related matters and to actively engage with the government’s policies and performance, especially during this crucial phase of the country’s economic journey. 

Alhaji Yusuf, who was represented by Mrs. Racheal Abosede Adeoye emphasized the importance of social dialogue as the preferred method for resolving industrial relations issues and encouraged the union to approach challenges with maturity and a commitment to meaningful collective bargaining.

Addressing the upcoming elections within the union, Alhaji Yusuf stressed the need to avoid internal conflicts and to select representatives who would effectively serve the union’s interests. He advocated for free and fair elections as a fundamental principle of democracy.

He reminded the conference attendees that the Ministry of Labour and Employment remains an impartial mediator in all industrial relations matters and is committed to upholding the various labour legislations that govern labour relations in the country.

Alhaji Yusuf concluded his address on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment by wishing the conference participants a successful deliberation. 

Comrade Muritala Saheed Olayinka, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Kwara State Council, recognized the challenges facing the trade union movement in Nigeria, emphasizing the importance of credible leadership.

Comrade Olayinka encouraged the delegates to tackle these challenges and work towards a harmonious working relationship with the government to address issues like the removal of petrol subsidy and social inequality. 

He urged them to embrace dialogue and solidarity to counter government interference in union affairs.

He praised the leadership of NASU, particularly Comrade Prince Peters Adeniyi Adeyemi, for a dedication to the workers’ cause and suggested that he be honoured with a “Knight of Labour” award in the trade union movement.

He urged all trade unions to remain steadfast in the face of economic challenges and assured them that the hardships caused by fuel subsidy removal would soon be alleviated.

In her goodwill message, Comrade Olabisi F. Adesina, a former Branch Chairperson of NASU at the University of Ilorin, commended the delegates for their role in shaping the future of trade unions and labour movements in Nigeria.

Comrade Adesina emphasized the importance of maintaining focus, hard work, perseverance, commitment, and adherence to labour laws. 

She encouraged members to support each other in solidarity and prayers, highlighting the significant role unions play in protecting the rights and welfare of workers.

The 8th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Universities and Inter-University Centres Trade Group Council proved to be a platform for addressing critical labour and education issues in Nigeria.

The speeches delivered by various leaders and representatives underscored the challenges faced by workers and the importance of unity, dialogue, and cooperation in addressing these challenges. The conference set the stage for upcoming elections and charting the course for the future of trade unions in the country.

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