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Benue varsity shut over NASU strike

 By Peter Duru

MAKURDI — Authorities of the Benue State University, Makurdi have shut down the institution following an industrial action called by the leadership of the Non Academic Staff Union of the institution.

The decision to close down the institution is not unconnected with Tuesday’s protest march by the Non Academic Staff Union of the institution who took their grievances to the streets, demanding an end to the lingering labour crisis that had recently engulfed the institution.

When Vanguard called at the university, the gates of the school were under lock and key.

This development is a follow up to an earlier action by the Academic Staff Union University, BSU chapter which, few weeks ago, also downed tools following the refusal of the university management to honour an agreement entered into by the Federal Government and ASUU late last year.

Vanguard gathered that BSU has been enmeshed in crises as a result of the refusal of the management to implement the FG-ASUU agreement months after signing it.

Our source also disclosed that the institution had been faced with the challenge of affecting the wage increment because it lacked the financial capacity to commence its full implementation.

However, Vanguard investigations revealed that huge amount of the institution’s resources have been channelled into the payment of the wage bill of contract staff who, in most cases, have spent close to 18 years in the institution as against the usual five years statutorily permitted.

A staff of the institution who craved anonymity said: “Our major problem in BSU is that we have large number of contract staff on the payroll of the institution whose wage bill runs into millions of Naira monthly. These staff have been fraudulently retained and in most cases enjoyed promotions as if they were normal staff, thereby constituting a drain pipe to the income of the school, yet nobody is saying or doing anything about it.”

Contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr. Garshagu Atovigba, said members of the NASU only barricaded the entrance of the institution to prevent its members from entering  the school, “it was not a protest.”


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