By Ayobami Agboola, Osogbo
The staff of research institutes in Ile-Ife, Osun state, on Tuesday, staged a peaceful protest over an alleged non-implementation of agreement they entered into with the Federal Government.
The staff under the aegis of Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) of National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM) and Prototype Engineering Development Institute (PEDI), thronged the Obafemi Awolowo University Campus to protest the Federal Government’s neglect and paying lip service to research for development.
They also demand the payment of their 12 months arrears and separation of research fund from the capital projects among others.
The staff were armed with placard which carried various inscriptions such as ; “FG pay our 12 Months Arrears”, “FG Increase funding of research institute”, “Implementation of 65 years retirement age and “Withdrawal of non-skipping Circular” among others.
Briefing CityMirrorNews Correspondent, who was at the NACETEM office where the protesters later converged, the branch Chairman of Prototype Engineering Development Institute (PEDI), Ilesa, Mr Adewale Akinboro said the union had embarked on the industrial strike action about 80 days ago so as to press home their demand.
Akinboro said the decision of NASU to stage a protest was taken after the federal government ignored their demands.
“We had a warning strike about two years ago that the federal government should implement the agreement we signed.
” Among the agreement we signed then is adequate funding of research institutes, establishment of Nigerian Research Institute Commission among other demands.
“Our research is not being funded, we have had several meeting with the government. We want federal government to separate our research fund from capital project
“Government up till this time has not responded positively to our demand to pay the 12 months salary arrears on Consolidated Research and Allied Institutions Salary Structure (CONRAISS) and implement other issues as agreed upon in the interim report of the Presidential Committee.”
The unions urged Federal Government to respect the content of the interim report of the President Committee and pay the 12 months salary arrears to the workers of the Research Institutions and stop paying lip service to issues affecting the Research .
Echoing a similar view, the branch Chairman, of NACETEM, Fadakinte Olumide Akintayo bemoaned the alleged non-challent attitude of the federal government towards research efforts and technological development in Nigeria.
Akintayo who noted that the refusal of the federal government to heed to their plight was a deliberate attempt to frustrate their efforts saying no nation can develop without research and technology.
According to him: ” The federal government no-challant attitude towards the agitation of NASU and JORAISU as unified body of all labour union in research institutes in Nigeria can be said to be deliberate”
There is no Nation of the world that has developed today outside the level of their technological advancement and the non challant attitude of the Nigerian government towards research institutes is not helping the nation as a whole.