3 months down, no hope of resumption for Kogi varsity students
All hopes for Kogi State University students dim each day, as the strike embarked on by the school’s lecturers deepen with parties involved not ready to shift ground.
Recall the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Kogi State University chapter embarked on industrial action on April 14 after completing a 21-day ultimatum of no-pay-no-work warning issued to the government to clear its five-month salary backlog among other issues.
In the face of dwindling oil prices and economic recession, the administration of former Gov. Idris Ichalla Wada, accumulated huge debt of unpaid workers’ salaries, while some were paid in percentages.
In May, the state government and ASUU negotiated, but the dialogue ended in an undisclosed agreement that saw government paying four months out of the five months salary arrears. ASUU refused to call off the strike in agitation for the outstanding one-month salary to be paid, PAYEE Tax waiver, including a contractual commitment to pay workers salary before the 7th day of every month.
An academic staff of the school, who spoke to Campusnews on anonymity, noted that sentiments have crawled into the process, as his colleagues are hell bent on their arrears. The government on their part see this as injustice to the administration, maintaining that the salary arrears were inherited from the past government.
“Government through the Commissioner of Education went as far as sending a threat letter with the clause, ‘No-Work-No-Pay,’ which we all found insulting during the congress. We are a group of intelligentsia of Professors, PhD holders and scholars of high repute, we deserve some respect from the governor,” he said.
Nevertheless, reactions from students of the school show they desire to go back to school and appeal to the academic staff and the state government to sheathe their swords for the progress of education in the state.