By Polycarp Auta
Jos, (Plateau), Jan. 15, 2021 The Plateau State University chapter, of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has commenced an indefinite strike action over insecurity, poor infrastructural development and arrears of earned allowances for its members.
Dr. Pamson Bentse, chairman of the union in the University, who disclosed this to newsmen on Friday, in Jos, said the decision to proceed on strike was reached after it’s congress meeting, held on Monday at the University’s main campus, in Bokkos.
He said the action of the union bordered on poor infrastructural development in the University, adding that 90 per cent of the ongoing structures in the school were constructed by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
He said other reasons behind the strike include insecurity of students, arrears of earned allowance for members, explaining that the union had been pressing for these demands for the past three years, but nothing had been done to address them, hence the justification 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. 90 per cent of the structures you see in the institution were constructed by TETFUND.
“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 year, 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.