Plateau varsity lecturers begin indefinite strike

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

 

By Aiyeku Timothy

The Plateau State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) has embarked on an indefinite strike over the nonchalant attitude of the state government to address some problems confronting the institution.

The Chairman of ASUU in the institution, Dr Bentse Pamson, said the decision was arrived at by their members to go on strike during an emergency congress held in Jos Saturday.

Pamson said, “We have just held our congress where our members unanimously agreed to proceed on strike immediately. We have already secured the approval of NEC to embark on local strike action at Plateau State University if the state government fails to meet our demands.”

He added that “We have a total of seven unresolved issues which we have been calling for the attention of the state government.

“For instance, If you come to the University, you will not discover any capital project being funded by the state government except the ones being undertaken under TetFund. This is totally strange and unacceptable.

“Not only that, the state government has refused to reconstitute a new governing council after the tenure of the last officials expired leaving the University without direction.

“There is also the issue of unpaid earned academic allowance spreading up to eight academic sessions totaling about N215 million leaving our members to suffer.

“We also have the problem of underfunding of the institution with the monthly subvention of about N90m which is grossly inadequate as against about N200 million needed monthly by the University to run it effectively.

“Apart from that, we have a situation where there is no special fund set aside for training and development of the academic staff of the institution to augment their efforts and those who wish to partner with the intention.

“Besides, the University environment has been turned to grazing land thereby constituting a serious security threat to the staff and students mainly because the institution is not fenced.

“We have had instances where hoodlums break into the hostels and rape the students and subjected the lecturers to all forms of harassment.

“These are some of the issues which our members have endured and we cannot continue like that without anything being done to address them.”

Dr Pamson expressed disgust over the issues and explained that “With the way education has been relegated to the background, a strike is the only option to draw the attention of the government to live up to its responsibilities.”

The Plateau State University strike will begin just as the Federal Government ordered schools to resume on January 18 after months of strike and COVID-19 break.

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