…wants immediate payment of 14 months arrears of Monetization, others…
Academic activities have been suspended at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT in compliance with the ASUU nationwide strike. When Radio Nigeria visited the Enugu Campus of the University, some class were deserted while students were loitering round as their exams had been suspended due to the nationwide strike.
Some of them expressed disappointment over the development and called for urgent government’s intervention to get them back to classes.
“Am not happy at all, strike should not be a norm in this country where education is everything.”
“It’s an indefinite strike, we don’t even know when it will end and our exams have been suspended.”
“Am a 3rd year student, now that my exam has been suspended, I have to come back again for that and this might delay my graduation, government should please attend to the demands of the lecturers because we are the ones suffering in this problem.”
Established more than thirty six years ago, ESUT which is the oldest State University in the country, is currently facing a lot of challenges ranging from non payment of outstanding allowances, non-promotion of staff members for five years and death of infrastructure.
Briefing newsmen at the end of an emergency meeting of the Union at the faculty of Engineering of the institution, the Chairman, ASSU-ESUT Branch, Comrade Chinedu Agubah also enjoined the Federal Government to urgently honour the 2009 Revitalization Fund Agreement with ASSU to end the strike.
Comrade Aguba observed that the education sector was among the least funded in the country.
“Government has failed to give respect to the greatest and sacred sector, which is education. The specific thing is funding the revitalization of public universities.”
He also used the forum to bring to the fore, peculiar demands of ASSU-ESUT branch which incude immediate increase in the monthly state subvention, payment of outstanding fourteen months arrears of monetization and promotion of staff members which has been denied them since the past five years.
“ESUT is the least funded state university in Nigeria. The State Government gives the institution ₦100m monthly subvention while the staff salary is ₦300m.This justifies the increase in the school fees because people always complain that our school fees is very high.”Even though the payment of Earned Academic Allowances is a national issue, what makes ESUT condition worse is that while many universities had been paid partly of this allowance, discussion on the mode of payment has not even begun in ESUT.”
Comrade Aguba said it was regrettable that members of staff of the institution were owned arrears of their entitlements despite the four point five billion naira, second tranche of Paris Club refund, Enugu State received from the Federal Government.
On whether ASSU, ESUT Branch would call off its strike if the federal government resolved the issue and Enugu state could not meet its peculiar demands, the Chairman said he would consult the national body for advice.