LASU Students Protest In Lagos

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LAGOS, Sept 21, (THEWILL) - About one thousand students of the Lagos State University students stormed the Lagos State Government Secretariat today, protesting the impending strike by their lecturers.

The students said the protest "is their own effort to proactively prevent the proposed strike being planned over non-implementation of the new salary structure approved by the federal government for tertiary institutions lecturers."

The state government argued that the determination of wages that will be paid by federating states by the federal government is antithetical to the principle of federalism because each state commands different resources and therefore should not have the same payroll as other states.

Probably still feeling the pain of the previous 6-month strike that distorted their academic calendar, the students looked determined to take the matter before Governor Babatunde Fashola, they however became unruly when they were told the governor was unavailable.

"No more strikes, grant their demands. We voted for Fashola and it is him we want to see," some students chanted when the Head of Service, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe was called to address them. They refused every entreaty from Ogunlewe.

LASU lecturers had given a 21-day notice after which they would embark on strike should the government fail to accede to their demands. The notice which was handed down at the beginning of the month expires this Thursday.

The lecturers made four demands in an open letter addressed to the governor including a call to "well meaning Lagosians to (intervene) to save the fate of education in Lagos State."

Ogunlewe urged the students to go back home, assuring them of government’s determination to intensify negotiation with the lecturers. He said Fashola "has already scheduled a meeting with them next Tuesday", but the students argued that the meeting may, at best, have a belated effect.

Ogunlewe said the federal government approved four different salary structures for university lecturers and it would not be easy to immediately adopt the four remuneration structures after using a uniform structure for many years.