Tuesday, 22 March 2016

NSUK Strike Update: We've paid 60% of the EAA arrears- Vice Chancellor

The Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Professor Muhammad Akaro Mainoma, says management of the institution has paid 60 percent of the arrears of the Earned Academic Allowances, EAA, to the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

Professor Maimoma told NSUK CampusWatch in Keffi, that other demands made by the union are already being taken care of by the university governing council.

"We have paid 60 percent of the arrears of EAA", he said.

The Vice Chancellor claimed that not even federal universities have been able to pay that much, saying that the sixty percent represents the highest figure any university has paid to its academic staff.

He further stated that the university council is already working hard to see that other demands such as, funding and the review of the university laws and promotion, are tackled within the shortest possible time.

"There is no dispute about these other things since the committee set up by the Council are already working on those issues, including the implementation of the white paper on the visitation panel", said Mainoma.

However, when our reporter confronted the branch chairman of ASUU, Dr. Theophilous Lagi, with the position of the Vice Chancellor, he simply replied: "that's his perspective".

When pressed to present his union's perspective, Dr. Lagi said management has only resorted to begging rather than face the reality. 

He said: "begging will not solve the current problem".

Our investigation revealed that although management have agreed to implement other demands made by the union especially with regards to review of the laws and promotion, the issue of EAA and funding of the university are yet to be resolved.

Dr. Lagi while addressing newsmen after their deadlocked meeting with the university Council last week Monday, said: "we have deliberated and looked on the issues in its own merit individually and holistically, but we have not been able to reach any meaningful concession on how these issues can be addressed. Fundamentally as regards to the issues of funding and the EAA.

“These issues are still contentious, we are on strike and we have reach a stalemate, and we have not reached any clear cut agreement”, he said.

We also gathered that the 60 percent payment as stated by the VC was made before the union went on strike, although it was an upward review of the 30 percent offer the management had previously made to the union.

Mainoma had in a January 30, 2016 interview with this medium said that "management has demonstrated willingness by settling 30 percent of the earned allowance within a short time. These arrears accumulated over a period of four years but the cash flow problem is the only hindrance to full implementation”.

It is also believed that the union is now demanding 100 percent payment of the EAA and a commitment by management and state government to full implementation of the other aspects of the agreement.

The ASUU helmsman earlier today, said management has not contacted them to further discuss the "contentious issues".

By Ofim, Kelechi Ofim

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