An indefinite strike action has been launched by the Plateau State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over insecurity, inadequate infrastructural growth, and arrears of received allowances for its representatives.
Dr. Pamson Bentse, chairman of the University Union, who made this known to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN) in Jos on Friday, said that the decision to continue the strike was reached after its congress meeting, held on Monday at the main campus of the University in Bokkos.
Bentse said the union’s action was restricted to inadequate infrastructural growth at the university, adding that 90% of the school’s current facilities were built by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
He said other factors behind the strike include student unemployment, late payment of members’ salaries, stating that the union has been calling for these demands for the past three years, but that little has been done to resolve them, hence the rationale for the industrial action.
“This afternoon, after our congress meeting, we have declared a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike. Inadequate capital projects in the University is one of the major reasons behind this strike. TETFUND constructed 90 percent of the structures you see in the institution.
“There is also the issue of over eight season’s arrears of earned academic allowance for our members amounting to over N215 million. The University is being underfunded by the state government; the 90 million it gets every month is grossly inadequate.
”With good funding, it can set aside funds to train its staff without necessarily waiting on TETFUND,” he said.
The chairman added that the absence of a Governing Council for the University in the past year, was also a reason for the strike, insisting that its absence was not healthy for the growth of the institution.
“The tenure of the last governing council expired since October 2019, and a new council has not been constituted. This is not good for an academic institution.
“Our students on campus are not safe because the University is not fully fenced. Herdsmen come in at will to graze, and hoodlums take advantage of the situation to also rape our female students.
“We have pushed for these demands for the last three years, but it fell on deaf ears, and this afternoon, with the approval of our National Executive Council (NEC), we declared an indefinite strike,” he said.