There are strong indications that the ongoing strike action embarked upon by Non-Academic Staff of Federal Universities in Nigeria might have negative effects on the conduct of the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The Head of Media and Public Relations of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Dr Fabian Benjamin, hinted this in a statement he issued on Sunday, February 18, 2018.
Benjamin said the non-teaching staff of universities were key stakeholders in this year’s UTME and the ongoing strike may upset the mock UTME scheduled for February 26.
He said: “We are still hopeful that an amicable resolution of the crisis would be reached before the date of the examination.”
“The unions are our critical stakeholders and their absence would be felt if the issue is not resolved before Monday February 26.”
”We had prayed and work tirelessly to ensure that the strike was called off hence our continued shifting of the dates for the examination.”
Benjamin had earlier clarified that while the board would not take sides and respects the decision of the non-teaching staff, it would however go ahead with the examination as scheduled.
“The attention of the board has been drawn to the release by NAN on the board’s mock examination slated for February 26, 2018 where I was quoted to have said the board will go on with the mock examination irrespective of the on going strike by the non academic unions of universities nation wide.
“First, the board wants to appreciate the unions for the support it has given the board in the successes of previous examinations and sympathized with the unions over the present predicaments,” Benjamin stated.
The non-teaching staff union comprise of three main unions including: Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union of Associated Institutions (NASU) and the National Association Academic Technologists (NAAT).
They have been on strike since December 2017.