The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the Bayelsa State-owned Niger Delta University (NDU) has commenced a sit-at-home protest following the inability of the Governor Seriake Dickson-led administration to pay lecturers of the university five-month salary arrears.
The ASUU Chairman in NDU, Stanley Ogoun, confirmed the development and said lecturers could no longer be discharging their duties without money to run their daily expenses.
“We have started the sit-at-home action and this means suspension of all academic activities relating to teaching and examination of students,” he said.
The Bayelsa State Government, however, appealed to ASUU and other workers in the state not to despair over the economic crisis facing the state insisting that clearing their backlog of salaries remained the first-line charge of Dickson.
The government in a statement co-signed by the two political advisers to the governor, Mr. Fyneman Wilson and Mr. Steven Diver, said the governor and his team were going through sleepless nights to pay the workers.
“To this effect, paying workers’ salaries always come first before other financial obligations. Steps are already being taken to ensure the payment of salaries within the shortest possible time.
“We are appealing to workers to exercise some patience because they will soon receive their pay. We also appreciate Bayelsans for displaying sense of maturity and understanding despite the difficult time they are going through,” the statement said.
“The Dickson’s administration is the one that values all workers in the state and committed to improving the welfare of workers including paying gratuities and pensions of retired workers.
“The governor has also taken steps to strengthen the Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR). He should be commended for looking inwards,” the statement added.