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ASUU-Benin Zone Threatens Strike Over Unreviewed Salaries and Other Issues

The Benin Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has expressed frustration over the lack of salary reviews for its members for over 15 years ago.

The Benin Zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has expressed frustration over the lack of salary reviews for its members, with the last adjustment occurring 15 years ago.

Speaking at a press conference in Benin on Wednesday, June 19, the coordinator of the Benin Zone of ASUU, Prof. Monday Igbafen, criticized the government for failing to review university lecturers’ salaries while other workers have seen salary increases since the value of the naira was N120 to a dollar.

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“University teachers in Nigeria have been on the same salary scale since 2009, when the naira was valued at N120 to a dollar, whereas other sectors have had their salaries reviewed multiple times,” Igbafen said. “Today, a Professor in Nigeria earns about $400 per month, which is a scandalous undervaluation of scholars.”

Igbafen argued that remaining on the same salary for 15 years without review is “wicked and inhuman,” and warned that it invites “resistance and industrial disharmony.”

Listing the union’s unmet demands, Igbafen explained that they are on the brink of industrial action due to the federal and state governments’ lack of sincerity in addressing the issues that have deteriorated the living and working conditions of academic staff in public universities.

“Barely a month after engaging with the press in DELSU, the government has shown a total neglect of our union’s demands and ultimatum,” Igbafen noted. “This stance by the government is certainly not conducive to preventing the impending paralysis in Nigeria’s public universities.”

The key issues cited by Igbafen include the stalled renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, inadequate funding for the revitalization of public universities as per various MoUs and MoAs, illegal dissolution of governing councils in federal and state universities, withheld salaries, unpaid salaries of staff on sabbatical or adjunct positions due to IPPIS, non-release of third-party deductions, non-payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), proliferation of public universities, non-implementation of Visitation Panel reports, and the refusal to adopt UTAS in place of IPPIS.

“It is both sad and provocative that the government, despite several efforts and calls from our union, remains unmoved on these issues,” Igbafen said. “By ignoring these issues, the government is effectively inviting our union to proceed on strike.”

He also condemned the illegal dissolution of the governing councils of public universities and criticized some state governments for neglecting to constitute governing councils for their universities.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: ASUU Threatens New Strike, Issues Three-Week Ultimatum to FG

SOURCES: ALLSCHOOL, PUNCH

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