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ASUU begins ‘no pay no work’ at Kogi Varsity

ASUU begins ‘no pay no work’ at Kogi Varsity

ASUU begins ‘no pay no work’ at Kogi Varsity

Members of the Kogi State University (KSU) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have withdrawn their services till the government pays their salary and allowances. Their action led to the suspension of the semester examination, which would have started last Monday. MOHAMMED YABAGI (400-Level Mass Communication) reports.

The crisis at the Kogi State University (KSU) in Anyigba over unpaid salaries and allowances has taken a new turn. Lecturers have withdrawn their services until they are paid. The action led to the suspension of the semester examination, which would have started last Monday.

The institution’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) initially issued the government and management a 21-day ultimatum during its March 23 congress to pay its members. The ultimatum expired last weekend without the government addressing the lecturers’ grievances.

Responding to the development, ASUU declared “no pay, no work”. The lecturers vowed not to go for classes until their salaries and allowances are paid.

The action has led to the suspension of activities on campus. Students, who turned up for examination last Monday, returned to their hostels in disappointment. There is no word yet from management on the examination.

The ASUU chairman, Dr Daniel Aina, said  the action became necessary because of what  he called the “shabby treatment” of lecturers by the school. He said the National Executive Council of the union is backing the action, which, according to him, should not be seen as a strike but a withdrawal of service.

He said: “The ASUU is on ‘no pay, no work’ action. We are not on strike. We have withdrawn our services for the mean time. This means lecturers will be in their offices, but they will not go for lectures. We will not attend statutory meetings, such as Boards of Departments, Faculties, Senate, and the like.”

As part of the action, he said ASUU members  would not conduct examinations nor supervise students and other matters related to students activities, until all arrears of salaries are “liquidated”.

Aina said the lecturers’ action was not political, added that it is not also against the university’s leadership. He accused the government of taking the lecturers’ welfare for granted.

The union urged the government to strengthen its revenue generation system to get funds to pay salaries.

Aina said: “The ASUU supports the on-going anti-corruption drive of the government to fish out bad eggs in the system. It would also be good if the government strengthens its revenue generation method to make it easy to pay workers’ salaries.”

He said ASUU would not condone corruption among lecturers, adding that once the arrears are paid, they would go back to work.

Aina said the autonomy of universities remained sacrosanct, adding that KSU would not be an exception. He advised that the university should not be seen as an extension of civil service, stressing that the institution must be strengthened to expand the scope of knowledge and research.

Reacting to the lecturers’ action, a top management official, who pleaded not to be named, described it as sabotage. He urged lecturers to return to work and give management time to resolve the matter, since Governor Yahaya Bello and the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mohammad Abdulkadir, are  new in the saddle.

The source said: “The governor, since assumption of office, has shown determination to make practical efforts that would improve the status of education in the state, especially at the tertiary level. It would be better if ASUU could allow the government to conclude the ongoing civil service verification.

“The Vice-Chancellor has also shown concern on the matter. He recently directed that N160 million be paid as salaries from the university’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) between December 2015 and this month. This shows the management is making effort to resolve the matter.”

He urged ASUU members to think about  students, who will bear the brunt of the action.

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the governor Mallam Abdulmalik Abdulkarim said the government was cleansing the state. He said before Bello assumed office, the institution was over-staffed, adding that “irrational” employment was embarked upon throughout the state between January last year and when the governor mounted the saddle. “The wage became bloated as allocation from the federation account could not match our wage bill,” he said, adding that as soon as the ongoing workers’ screening is concluded, salaries will be paid.

Speaking to CAMPUSLIFE, Students’ Union Government (SUG) president Philip Shuaibu and his National Association of Kogi State Students (NAKOSS) counterpart Abdulmalik Hadi pleaded with the lecturers to return to work, saying they did not want the academic calendar to be truncated by the action.

Shaibu said: “Students are not happy with the development in the school. We call on government to do the needful to ameliorate the situation. In the last two years, we cannot count the number of strikes embarked upon by workers’ unions in the school. This is why we are worried that the latest development may truncate the current academic calendar. The lecturers and the government should resolve the matter on time in the interest of students.”

Hadi called for dialogue, saying: “We are saddened by the incessant strikes in the school. We want the matters connected to it resolved. Our future should not be held to ransom, because of the inability of government and lecturers to sit and dialogue.”

ASUU begins ‘no pay no work’ at Kogi Varsity

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