Thursday, 16 June 2016

We can't meet ASUU's deadline - Professor Muhammad Mainoma (Vice Chancellor)

The Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Professor Muhammad Mainoma, has pleaded with members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities in the institution, to give management more time to enable it generate enough money to offset their salary arrears.

The Vice Chancellor made the plea yesterday in his office in Keffi while playing host to members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Nasarawa state Council led by its chairman, Dan Yakubu, who were on tour of facilities in the University.

Professor Mainoma disclosed that the University needs about 257 million naira to pay the outstanding salaries of the lecturers, saying it is not possible to get such an amount of money within the one week period given by the Union. "We are going to get the money but not in one week", he said while responding to question about the threat of another strike by ASUU.

"We are making every effort to ensure that the lecturers do not embark on another strike-- we are talking to ASUU and to government. "I've written to ASUU this morning (yesterday) requesting for an extension of the deadline and the Registrar is presently in Lafia to present our case before the Visitor.

"I also spoke with the Visitor immediately I got notice of the deadline given by ASUU.
"But we won't be able to meet the Monday deadline given by ASUU", the Vice Chancellor said.

He explained that there is presently no money in the state and no hope of getting such money from anywhere within the period, but believes that if the lecturers give management a little more time, their salaries will be paid.

"The Federal Allocation Committee will be meeting on Tuesday next week and if the money is allocated to us, it will still take not less than 2 days for it to get us and by that time their deadline must have elapsed", he noted.

The Vice Chancellor disclosed that the effect of the strike has been very dire to institution, costing the University more than 260 million naira, in monetary losses, every month. He took time to explain other negative consequences of strike to the University, and pleaded with the state government to quickly intervene to avoid losing some of the academic staff, of which he said will be difficult to replace, and also considering the damage that it will do to the system. "We cannot afford to lose our Professors because some of them are very rare in their fields and replacing them will be very difficult.

"It will also affect the system and all the progress that has been made, so far, will take a nosedive and that is not good for the University", he said. Mainoma pleaded with students to return to school as normal academic activities have resumed and expressed optimism that the lecturers salaries will be paid as soon as possible to avert another strike.He admonished students who are already in school not to go back to their homes, thinking that another strike is imminent.

He assured that the institution will not be closed down again, God willing.

Earlier the chairman of NUJ in the state, Dan Yakubu, thanked the Vice Chancellor for granting their request to visit the University, explaining that the tour of higher institutions in the state, by the Union, was not for the purpose of rating the institutions but to understand the state of facilities in them.

He however praised the Vice Chancellor for his numerous achievements despite the obstacles that have been slowing him down since he assumed office. The team later visited some facilities, including Mass Comm Complex, the ongoing and completed Tetfund projects, state government sponsored hostel projects, among others.

The Head of Information and Protocol Unit/Deputy Registrar NSUK, Alhaji Jameel Zakari, led the team to the project sites.

By Ofim, Kelechi Ofim

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