Strike: NBTI entrepreneurs urge FG, unions to dialogue

Entrepreneurs of the National Board for Technology Incubation Centres have called on the government and striking unions of research institutes to dialogue with a view to calling off the ongoing strike.
The entrepreneurs, in separate telephone interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday said the strike had been having adverse effect on productivity at the centres.
They said the incubation centres were all shut and unable to carry out their functions maximally.
David Ndace, an entrepreneur and fabricator of agro-machines in the Minna Technology Incubation Centre, said the strike had affected the centre’s production.
Ndace said: “Some of the government parastatals that are thinking of coming on board to partner with us will need some information from the office, which we cannot get because the staff who will supply them are on strike.
“Also, the staff are the ones involved in the supervision, monitoring, evaluation of our work and they have to approve every step of the fabrication process.
“When this is not done, the final output cannot be pushed out.’’
Ndace urged the striking staff and the government to find a meeting point and resolve the issues by the unions as it was affecting the production capacity of the centres.
He also solicited for grants and financial support for entrepreneurs for start-up, saying the cost of production was also affecting the entrepreneurs production.
Dr Edet Aniofiok, an entrepreneur in Uyo centre said the strike had also affected his production.
Aniofiok said: “Only the management staff are on ground but the people that are really involved in the day to day running of the centres are on strike.
“The management staff are really trying their best but it is not like when you have regular staff who help us with marketing, packaging of products and taking our products to universities.
“The striking staff are the foot soldiers that help us with our work, so we are appealing to them to come back to work because the country is losing out as well.’’
NAN reports that the Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions, made up of the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals.

Research Institutes and Allied Institutions, Academic Staff Union of Research Institutes and the Non-Academic Staff Union have been on strike since November 2017.