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Research Institutes’ strike affecting Nigeria’s agric. sector – Experts

The Provost, Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan, Dr Babajide Adelekan says strikes in agricultural research institutes affects the research and food production of the country.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Ibadan on Monday, Adelekan said this would hinder the food security programme of the government.

NAN reports that the institutes had been on the strike since Nov. 14, 2017 to demand better working conditions.

“One can only appeal to all parties involved to speed the process of reaching agreement on the key issues.

“Parties involved should find solutions that will restore normalcy with the potential to enhance agricultural development in Nigeria,” he said.

Similarly, Dr Idris Badiru of the Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Ibadan, said the strike effect would manifest later on the country’s efforts at food sufficiency.

“The situation is like that because the impact of the research institutes is not an instantly felt one.

“The majority of the people don’t feel the impact of the strike directly, these may be responsible for the slow response of the government to the situation,” he said.

In addition, the Executive Director of Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Prof. James Adediran said that the strike has disrupted academic and research activities in the institutes.

He remarked that it would also lead to setback for the country’s economy, especially in the agriculture sector.

“There will be wastage of human and financial resources by not giving support to students, lectures and research.

“There will be loss of animals and farm produce that are supposed to be handled by the aggrieved unions on the animals or crop farm,” he said.

The institutes are demanding for the establishment of a National Research Institute Commission; release of conditions of service, which it had been negotiating with the government since 2011.

The demands also included proper funding of research institutes, payment of 12 months arrears of 53.37 per cent salary increase and withdrawal of circular on non-skipping of grade level.

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