Tuesday, 21 June 2016

NSUK VC assures of quick resolution of ASUU crisis

The "no pay no work" action declared today by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Nasarawa State University Chapter will not last long, as to disrupt the current academic calendar, the Vice Chancellor Professor Muhammad Mainoma has assured.

He gave the assurance when presidents of Faculties and Departments met with him in his office to register their protest against the inability of management to resolve the crisis that has seen lecturers embark on another industrial action, few weeks after the suspension of the earlier one.

Mainoma pleaded with the students not to travel out of campus as management is in touch with the state government in respect of the salary arrears, and that the lecturers will be paid before the end of the month.

He said the March salary was ready and government has assured of providing the remaining ones, so that the arrears will be cleared.

The Vice Chancellor appealed to the students not engage in any unlawful activity that could worsen the matter, saying that the plight of the students are uppermost as management seek for solution to the present challenge.

"We were able to secure March salary which would have been paid today, but now we have to look for another money for the remaining months.

"We have been appealing to ASUU to give us till the end of the month", the Vice Chancellor said.

Mainoma insisted that the strike won't be allowed to last as the former, appealing to the students not to despair.

"The good thing is that the present strike is not like the previous one, where there were many issues.

"Now we have only one issue to contend with and as soon as their salaries are paid, they will return to work and we are already doing something about it.

"There is no reason for students to leave campus for now", he insisted.

He noted that the University has no major source of revenue generation except from school fees, which he feared has been exhausted in the payment of allowances of staff, utility bills, cleaners, etc.

He said the strike by the non-academic staff is unfortunate, as management had paid two months of their salary saying that their present agitation is for salaries of the remaining months and their Earned Allowance.

"We had already agreed with the non-academic staff that we will be paying them 5 percent every month but it seems ASUU has inspired them to resume their own strike", he said.

Mainoma acknowledged that the University is losing so much in finances as a result of strike, because, even when the school is not in session it incurs huge expenses without a way of generating any money in return.

The Vice Chancellor had told members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, who were on a facility tour of the university last week,  that the institution loses 260 million naira every month, in time of strike.

He said the state government is aware of the situation and is doing everything possible to remedy it.

He appealed to students not to give government any reason to close down the university, as any unlawful skirmishes may result in total closure of the university, a situation he said, will complicate the current problem.

Earlier the President of Forum of Faculty Presidents, Aliyu Abdullahi Yakubu, who led the student leaders to the Vice Chancellor, said the atmosphere in the university is tensed due the ASUU and NASU strike.

He told management to do something urgently so that the students don't become unruly.

Other student leaders at the venue, threw questions at the Vice Chancellor seeking to know his solution to the problem.

They told the Vice Chancellor that the situation is getting out of hand, that he should put on his thinking cap and proffer a lasting solution to the lingering problem to avert unfortunate consequences.

Both ASUU and non teaching staff had on Monday embarked on an indefinite strike much to the anger of many students who had just resumed, three months after the previous strike by ASUU.

The non-academic staff barely resumed duties days ago after returning from their "sit at home" only to down tool again on Monday.

ASUU chairman, Dr. Theophilous Lagi while addressing the media on Monday after their congress meeting said: "this present action has nothing to do with our previous demands which necessitated us to embark on a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike, this present action is on salary arrears, therefore if we should receive our salary today, tomorrow we will return work".

On the other hand NASU is demanding the payment of salary and allowances of members before returning to their duty posts.

Editors note:
the present situation is understandably provocative but students should not be tempted to lead any protest, that is likely to become violent, as this may aggravate the current problem. Any little misunderstanding of your intents may be judged dangerous and may land you in trouble or indefinite closure of the school. You are advised to comport yourself and allow negotiation to take place. Do not allow yourself to be ruled by emotions. Do not engage in any violent activity. We were patient for three months; don't let a matter that can be resolved with dialogue in a few days end us in more trouble. Remember, miscreants, thugs and criminals may be waiting in the wings to hijack your good intentions. Don't put lives and property of students and fellow citizens at risk. Be wise!

Additional reports by:

•Ogbu Patrick- Mass Communication 400 level
•Clement Philip Shimnom- Mass Communication 400 level
•Emmanuel Adigizi Daniel- Banking and Finance 300 level
•Attah Adgidzi- Mass Communication 100 level

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