By AWAYI KUJE
LAFIA- The Nasarawa State Government has taken over full payment of staff salaries at the state owned university, Keffi (NSUK).
Gov. Abdullahi Sule made this known while briefing members of the state executive council in Lafia on Thursday.
He said his administration has agreed to takeover the payment of salaries of staff at the university to meet one of the key demands by the local chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“Thus paving the way for the possible resumption of academic activities in the institution.”
“Based on the available finances to the state and especially because of the importance attached to education, my administration has agreed to take over the responsibility of paying salaries of staff at the NSUK, beginning from this month,” he said.
Sule said that, so far, the management of the university, as well as the non-teaching unions; namely the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) have all agreed to open the university.
“One of the conditions they gave to us, the most important condition, is to ensure that we take over the full payment of salaries of all the staff, so that they don’t have to use their IGR.
“As far as we are concerned, we looked at our finances and we strongly believe that, based on the cashflow we have available to us and also because of the importance we attached to education, that we should be able to start that from this month.
“That is what we are looking forward to do. We are also hoping they will compliment by the moment we start the payment hopefully by Thursday or Friday.
“Then we are hoping to see them also returning to their classes,” he stated.
Sule also disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, National Communication Commission (NCC), through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has donated ICT gadgets to the College of Education in Akwanga.
“They have supplied ICT gadgets from the NCC similar to what they did for us at the Isa Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic, Lafia.
“The advantage COE Akwanga is having is that two servers will be installed, as part of their contribution to education in the state,” he said.
The governor appreciated the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Ali Pantami, for the support, as well as the NCC and NITDA for their intervention.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that on Aug.3, the Chairman, House Committee on Education at the state legislature, Mr Daniel Ogazi, urged the state government to take over the payment of salaries of staff at the university.
Ogazi made the appeal when the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Suleiman Bala, appeared before the committee on its 2022 budget performance assessment.
During the oversight, the vice chancellor appealed for the state government to fully take over the payment of staff salaries as a lasting solution to the university’s financial challenges. (NAN)