SSANU accuses FUTO of insensitivity to workers plight over resumption order
No fewer that 13 members of the Imo State House of Assembly who contracted coronavirus have recovered and reported for plenary after the House resumed sitting on Tuesday.
Speaker, Chiji Collins, had ordered the immediate closure of the assembly complex last month to contain the spread of the virus, following the report that some of members are infected. He told The Guardian on telephone, yesterday, that the House Committee Chairman on Information and Advocacy, Dominic Ezerioha said the lawmakers were healthy and ready to commence their legislative businesses.
Ezerioha, however, insisted that the number of those that contracted the virus were not up to 13 as reported, saying the figures were inflated, as it did not emanate from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Also, media aide to the Speaker, Emeka Ahaneku, confirmed that only one of the 27 members was absent at Tuesday’s plenary. Ezerioha also said the House passed the state’s revised 2020 appropriation bill of N95.3b into law, saying the new budget was N102b lower than the previous appropriation bill.
The legislators had earlier passed the 2020 appropriation bill of N197b into law before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Meanwhile, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has accused management of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) of being insensitive to the plight of its members.
This followed a directive in a memo signed by the university’s registrar, John Nnabuihe dated July 20, 2020, asking all non-teaching staff members to resume work immediately.
Responding to the directive, SSANU in a letter to the Vice Chancellor, described the directive as “ill-advised and overzealous” and demanded its withdrawal.
The letter, dated July 24, 2020 and signed by the National President of SSANU, Sampson C. Ugwuoke, stated that the union would hold FUTO management responsible for outbreak of coronavirus in the institution, if it insisted on compelling its members to resume work.
It cautioned that should the university management insisted on enforcing the directive, SSANU chapter of FUTO would resist the move, which he said, might cause industrial disharmony in the university.
SSANU also drew the attention of the varsity authorities to the most recent circular from the office of the Head of Service of the Federation dated July 2, 2020, in which it issued directives on safety measures against further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.