Again, Benue state university lecturers down tools

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By Sunday Ogli Makurdi

THE Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Benue State University chapter, has embarked on strike.

The Union said the strike action is a resumption of an earlier one it suspended on the 26th of June, 2023.

A press release dated February 1, 2024 and signed by Comrade Kwaghfan Tarnongo and Terrumun Gajir, chairperson and secretary respectively of ASUU-BSU, stated that the national body of the Union has given it the go-ahead to go on strike.

The press release stated in part: “Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU National) has approved the request by the Benue state University Branch (ASUU-BSU) to resume the strike the Branch suspended on the 26th June, 2023.

“The permission to proceed on this strike was formally communicated to members of the Branch on Thursday 1st February, 2024 on the floor of an emergency Congress held at the Arts Theatre Complex.

“The strike action is TOTAL, INDEFINITE AND COMPREHENSIVE until ALL the demands of the Branch are satisfactorily addressed by the Benue State University (BSU) Administration.”

The Union predicated the current strike action on items that were not resolved by the university administration.

They items include
implementation and payment of accrued arrears of 2021, 2022, and 2023 promotions, implementation and payment of accrued arrears of annual incremental step and payment of April 2023 salary arrears

Other reasons the Union gave for the strike action included shortfall in the salaries of staff of the College of Health Sciences, payment of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), payment of Sundry allowances(PG, GST, EPS, SANDWICH etc) and Non enrolment/implementation of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHTS) amongst other issues.

“ASUU-BSU graciously suspended this strike on the 26th June 2023 following assurances by the BSU Administration to adhere to the January 2023 agreement.

“Unfortunately, the University has remained in breach of the agreement by failing to pay the arrears of annual increment since it started collecting the funds from the BNSG from January, 2023 to January, 2024.

“From the foregoing, it becomes evident that the Management Benue State University has virtually pushed the Branch into the current strike action by its apathy to the welfare concerns and legitimate entitlements of Academic Staff of the University,” ASUU-BSU stated.