Abia State University ASUU Delegation Meets Governor Otti

...the demands of the Union are not unreasonable

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Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti has assured that his government would look into issues confronting the Abia State University Uturu (ABSU), with a view to tackling challenges facing the institution.

Governor Otti was speaking when he met with the delegation of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) ABSU Chapter led by the Zonal Coordinator, ASUU National,Calabar Zone, Dr Happiness Uduak.

The Governor while noting that a lot needs to be done to fix the institution, said the demands of the Union are not unreasonable and added that government would do anything within it’s capacity to assist the University.

He expressed surprise over the18 months salary differential the union said it’s members in Abia were being owed from 2009-2010 as well as the 11 months salary arrears owed them by the previous administration.

Governor Otti, was of the view that Universities especially, when they are not new should be run independent of government subvention and advised members of the union to rather evolve ways to make the University financially independent.

He said; “It is important that we put on our thinking cap and remove our begging cap because this whole idea of begging is the problem that we have in Nigeria.

“Even as a country, we keep begging, we keep borrowing and we need to think of being financially independent.

“Even from research alone, if there is anything happening in the University, we should be able to generate enough resources to do a few things.

“We need to begin to think of how to make our Universities financially independent. Let us rechannel our ABSU, ASUU to begin to think of how they can contribute to making the University independent and I will support you.

“We need to think in that direction because it is more sustainable”.

The Governor who said he would meet with the University Management to iron out a number of issues, muted that there will be a restructuring of the institution and promised to set up a visitation panel in the institution as well as look into the union’s requests for increased subvention.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Dr Happiness Uduak, appreciated the Governor for doing alot for ABSU so far since assumption of office.

Dr. Uduak commended Governor Otti for the prompt release of their monthly subventions; a gesture she said, sets the tone for an industrial harmony between the government and the Union.

She however, disclosed that members of their union were owed 11 months outstanding salaries from 2022 and requested an upward review of subvention to the University as well as renegotiation of their salaries.

Dr. Uduak said there was need for the government to set up a Visitation Panel to the Institution to checkmate some anomalies, revisit the deplorable Okigwe- Uturu road leading to the Institution as well as address the 18 months differentials to their members.

The ASUU, ABSU branch Chairperson, Dr Chidi Mbah, in his remarks, noted that things were not moving as they should in the University and called on the Governor to personally visit the Institution to see things for himself.