(From Gyang Bere, Jos)
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Plateau State University Branch, said the institution might be reclosed following a high level of insecurity, underfunding and negligence of staff welfare when Government and ASUU decided to call off the lingering nationwide strike.
The Chairperson, ASUU PLASU Branch, Dr Bentse Chun Pamson, disclosed this on Monday while briefing reporters in Jos, saying only the intervention of the Plateau State Government in addressing the local issues will stop the institution from being reclosed.
‘Let me inform you that academic activities at the Plateau State University may immediately be reclosed in the event of the suspension of the ongoing strike. This is because at the ESUT NEC of 7-8 March 2020, the branch had secured the approval of NEC in principle to embark on a local action to press home its demand,’ he said.
‘We have had several of our female students being raped. One of our members from the Department of Theatre Arts was having a rehearsal with students, the bandits came and rape a student in his presence and beat him to hell.
‘We want the government to look into that seriously and find a way of improving the security of lives and prosperities in the institution.
‘We have been engaging the Government of Plateau State through the leadership of the University over some issues and one of it is that Plateau State University has been without a Governing Council and our demand is that the Government of Plateau State should constitute a Governing Council.’
Pamson noted that the Institution has grossly been underfunded since inception by Plateau State Government and said most of the visible structures on the ground are projects executed by TETFund.
‘Since the inception of the University, less than 10 per cent of the physical projects in the institution is what the various governments have cumulatively put in place, and 90 per cent is TETFund and we say no, let the presence of the owners of the University be seen.
‘That also extends to the monthly subvention giving to the University. The salary of the institution is about N75 million but what government releases every month is about N55 million.’
On the ongoing nationwide, Pamson said the offer of N30 billion by the Federal Government for the revitalization of public Universities was a far cry from the N110 billion demanded by the Union out of the N220 billion earlier agreement.
He said Plateau State University rejected the N30 billion offer and insisted that the minimum that should be injected for the revitalisation of public universities should be as proposed by its zonal/National Leadership.