Pay us or risk industrial crisis, ASUU tells Kebbi varsity 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero branch has urged management of the institution to address lingering issues affecting lecturers to avert avoidable industrial crisis in the near future.

The branch chairman, Dr. Abubakar Birnin-Yauri, gave the warning in Birnin Kebbi Thursday at a news briefing.

Reading from a text jointly signed by the branch secretary, Dr. Gado Abubakar, and himself, he solicited the intervention of labour activists, traditional institutions, religious leaders, parents, students, traders, professional groups, civil society organisations and progressive members of the public to save education in Kebbi state. 

“This press conference is borne out of the desire to halt an impending collapse of a high flourishing centre of learning in the North-west geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

“The heat generated by what one will call absolute neglect has become unbearable resulting to mass exodus of our members to other climes in search of greener pasture,” he stated.

Dr. Birnin-Yauri said regardless of such ill- treatment, the academic staff have remained committed to the mission and vision of the university.

The ASUU chairman added that the union held series of meetings and consultations with the university management, Governing Council, the state Ministry of Higher Education and prominent personalities including the academia to prevail on the Kebbi state government to address the lingering issues affecting the university to no avail.

“Members of academic staff are yet to enjoy consequential salary adjustment being implemented since 2019 in all public service in both states and federal establishments including academic institutions.

“Our neighbouring institutions such as Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Waziri Umaru Federal Polytechnic, Birnin Kebbi, Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, and Umaru Yar’Adua University, Katsina, are enjoying the adjustment and have been paid backlog of arrears,” he stated.

Dr. Birnin-Yauri informed newsmen that ASUU has written several letters to the university management, the Governing Council, the Ministry of Higher Education and the state government to solve the problem without positive result.

“Additionally, the payment of interim ASUU – FG 35% and 25% salary increment for Academic Staff of Nigerian Universities, approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari, and the N35, 000 increment (wage award) for all Nigerian workers, effective October 2023 – March 2024, fully implemented by President Tinubu has not been implemented by the Aliero University, KSUSTA,” Birnin-Yauri said.

The ASUU leader further spoke  about non implementation or partial payment of annual salary increments since 2017 to date, nonpayment of Earn Academic Allowances (EAA)  from 2014-2021 for 308 academic staff of the university and backlogs of unpaid promotion arrears from 2016 – 2023.

“Inspite of the prolonged industrial action in Nigerian universities, ASUU-KSUSTA has never skipped any academic session. This shows the level of commitment and unwavering dedication on the part of KSUSTA staff towards ensuring that the only state owned university excels among its contemporaries, but the zeal is gradually dwindling due to poor welfare of lecturers,” he stated.

Dr. Birnin-Yauri also appealed to the authorities concerned to evolve more strategies to protect lives and property of workers in the university to prevent the reduction of the workforce due to fear of insecurity,” the ASUU comrade said.

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