Lecturers at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai have on Thursday begun a one-week warning strike over the non-payment of accrued academic allowances by the Niger State government.
The lecturers under the auspices of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) said the government owes them allowances running into N530 million.
ASUU IBBU Chairman, Salahu Lawal said beyond that, the strike was also a protest over other unresolved issues.
According to him, the union and the government had agreed on the payment of the N530 million accrued allowances in January.
He said: “We had an understanding with the state government that from January 2018 they will start offsetting the accrued allowances consecutively for a period of time.
“We are telling Niger government by this warning strike that they have reneged on the agreement we reached with them in August 2017 and this a breach.
“This money is overdue and had accrued since 2009, nine years now.”
EduCeleb.com recalls that the Federal Government of Nigeria had in 2009 reached an agreement with the national ASUU to increase funding and infrastructure in universities. There have been different strikes by various levels of the union to ensure that the federal government and various state governments implement the agreement in the universities they own.
Meanwhile, nonacademic staff in Nigerian universities are still on strike for close to four months leading to partial grounding of administrative activities in the institutions.
Lawal said the alleged breach of agreement would not augur well for the university which, he said, has a shortage of manpower, infrastructure and basic amenities such as water and electricity.
He said the institution lacks basic needs for proper teaching and learning.
“We want to graduate students that will be at par with their international counterparts to compete with them comparatively.
“We do not want to graduate students that will lag academically, psychologically, socially and otherwise,” he declared.
“Our graduates should be our ambassadors anywhere they find themselves, this is why we are striving for a better institution.
“Our utmost demand is a better teaching and learning environment to produce the desired graduates for Nigeria and the world.’’
Lawal threatened that the union will proceed on an indefinite strike if nothing is done by the government at the end of the warning strike.
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello, Mr Bala Ndace was not immediately available for comments as at the time of filing this report.