Gov. Udom Emmanuel has said that his administration was giving N327 million monthly allocation to Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU) in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of the state.
Emmanuel disclosed this during an interactive media programme titled; “The Governor Speaks’’, in Uyo, the state capital on Saturday.
“I give Akwa Ibom State University N327 million every month as grant. Also, going by the figures I have, lecturers in AKSU receive the highest salaries anywhere in the country.
“For sustainability, I decided that we align with the National Universities Commission’s (NUC) salary scale applicable everywhere in the country, that is the crux of the disagreement,’’ Emmanuel said.
He queried the rationale behind the continuous strike action by the institution, in spite of the regular funding it was getting from the state government.
The governor’s disclosure was coming on the heels of the recent submission of a report by the visitation panel set up about a year ago to look into the problems bedeviling the varsity.
He claimed that from the figures of N327 million, lecturers in the AKSU were among the highest paid university teachers in Nigeria.
Emmanuel, however, said that AKSU had two different staff unions and that it was not the fault of the State Government.
“I am optimistic these issues will be resolved, I have set up a panel of enquiry to that effect,” the governor said.
He assured that recommendations from the visitation panel would be implemented by the state government in order to allow for smooth academic activities.
Emmanuel added that his administration had spent huge resources in funding the tertiary system of education in the state.
“We are spending huge amount of money in providing infrastructure in AKSU.
“Look at the Obio Akpa campus, when we came in, we had to put in money, and today, if you go there, you will see the difference.
“Even the main campus, the internal roads, right from the gate,’’ he said.
He chided the management of the institution for not working toward being self-sufficient and sustainable.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state owned university had been in and out of academic activities due to issues of salaries and welfare package of both the teaching and non-teaching staff members.
NAN recalled that the AKSU began their strike on April 17, and the strike had lingered on.