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Niger Delta University staff descend on Governor Dickson over unpaid salaries

By News Express on 02/04/2016

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) in the Niger Delta University have carpeted the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, over their unpaid three-month salaries.

The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Technologists (NAAT) in the state-owned university have also joined in condemning Dickson’s insensitivity to their plight.

The unions in a communique on Saturday lamented that the non-payment of their salaries had made lives unbearable for them. The communique was signed by the state chairmen of ASUU, Dr. Stanley Ogoun; SSANU, Wilcox Fakidouma; NAAT, Ekipre Dienagha; and NASU, Kenneth Akpofagha.

The unions said the development had made their members unable to meet their parental obligations resulting in their children and wards dropping out of school due to inability to pay school fees.

They said: “It is inhuman to expect our members to exercise further patience when three months into the new year, salaries have not been paid.

“The development has resulted in families of our members going hungry, our children being driven out of school in the last term, the sick uncared for and eviction by landlords due to expiration of house rents.

“Also, there is increased rate of hypertension and related diseases arising from members inability to provide food on the table and worsened by no means of credit facilities.”

The groups, which said they supported the state government’s staff verification as a means of exterminating payroll fraud in the system, however, faulted its timing.

The unions contended that the timing was a calculated attempt to further worsen the already critical state of the people, particularly against the backdrop that those who spent the last four years to do a verification did not achieve any meaningful result.

They called on the Dickson-led government to immediately pay their three months salaries - January to March, on the basis of the Bank Verification Number they had earlier submitted, while the current verification exercise continued.

They said in the communiqué: “Our Visitor, Gov. Seriake Dickson, should be bothered by the cries of children whose working parents are no longer able to provide food and medical care for them or by the fact that people can no longer transport themselves to their places of work arising from the scarcity of petrol.

“By extending the period of no salaries beyond the third month, Visitor to the university is vicariously liable for systematically compelling genuine workers to indulge in criminality to keep their families alive.

“Where is the place of empathy in public policy formulation and implementation?

“We are calling on Governor Dickson to condescend to the state of the ordinary worker whose take home pay cannot even take him home.

“The misguided notion of university autonomy as held by only the Bayelsa State Government in the entire country should not be used as a guise for abdicating responsibility to the university.”

The unions, however, promised to continue to contribute meaningfully to the human capital development of the state.

They said as a mark of respect for and in honour of the founding father and first visitor to the NDU, late Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, they would converge at the various levels of their unions for an appropriate response after his burial slated for April 8 and 9, 2016.

•Photo shows Governor Dickson.

Source News Express

Posted 02/04/2016 8:36:10 PM

 

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