Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, Saturday approved the payment of January 2016 salaries to all the staff members of the State owned Niger Delta University (NDU) in Wilberforce Island.
The governor noted that members of the Academic staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and graduate assistants should be paid the salary as a first step to convincing them to return to work.
The approval, he said, was part of the decisions reached between the state government and the Leadership of ASUU, NDU branch at a meeting in the Government House yesterday.
The decision to pay the January 2016 salaries of NDU staff, the governor said in a statement signed by his Information Commissioner, Jonathan Obuebite, was intended to bring ASUU and other NDU staff at par with other civil servants in the State, who have also received their salaries for January.
Dickson sympathised with ASUU and other staff of NDU but reassured them of the government’s commitment to the welfare of civil servants, including staff of NDU and especially ASUU, in view of the utmost importance the administration attached to education.
He also stressed that pending the outcome of a congress meeting of ASUU to determine an acceptable mode of payment of their salaries, he has also approved the payment of 50 per cent of salaries to all other staff of the university.
The statement noted that the Bayelsa State Governor also used the opportunity to explain the general economic downturn in the country, which he said has adversely affected the revenues of the State, coupled with the recent upsurge in militancy, which has equally drastically reduced the State’s quota of oil produced.
He reassured all civil servants, including ASUU of the government’s preparedness to pay the backlog of salaries owed them as soon as the economy improves.
ASUU, NDU branch has been on strike due to the Government’s inability to meet its salary obligation to them.