July 16, 2024

Why ASUU UNIBEN Stops Postgraduate Teaching, Supervision

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Why ASUU UNIBEN Stops Postgraduate Teaching, Supervision
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By Simeon OSAJIE

More facts has emerged why Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) University of Benin (UNIBEN) Branch on Sunday, 23rd June, 2024 withdrew its services from the postgraduate programme of the University.

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The9jaTREND gathered that the decision by ASUU UNIBEN was to press home her demand for payment of outstanding entitlements for postgraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision.

The9jaTREND further gathered that the withdrawal of services by the Academic Staff in the University of Benin was not unconnected with indebtedness on the part of the University management throughout the tenure of the current University Administration, which winds up in December 2024.

The development further heightened following a decision  by ASUU (UNIBEN) Branch at a  Congress on Friday the 14th of June 2024, which resolved that all members of ASUU UNIBEN withdraw their involvement/participation in the postgraduate programme of the University of Benin with immediate effect.

Investigation by The9jaTREND revealed that the ASUU UNIBEN Branch vowed to sustain the strike action on all postgraduate programs of the University of Benin to press home its demand for payment of all outstanding entitlements.

It was further gathered that the suspension of services by the Academic Staff is among others is to compel the Vice-Chancellor,  Prof Lilian Salami to do the needful to forestall another incidence of the interruption of the postgraduate programme that may arise from the accumulation of unpaid entitlements to members in the near or distant future.

A source who didn’t want his name in print told The Guardian , “Following the authorization and backing we have received from the National Leadership of our Union to withdraw our services from the postgraduate programme of the University of Benin to press home our demand for payment of outstanding entitlements for postgraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision throughout the tenure of the current University Administration, Congress met on Friday the 14th of June 2024 and it was resolved that all members of ASUU UNIBEN withdraw their involvement/participation in the postgraduate programme of the University of Benin with immediate effect.

The source added that the meeting which had in attendance leaders and comrades of ASUU UNIBEN resolved that, “Arising from the above, all members of ASUU UNIBEN have been directed to immediately cease to engage/participate/be involved in postgraduate teaching, postgraduate supervision, postgraduate seminars, postgraduate examinations, and postgraduate board meetings until all the already earned honoraria for postgraduate teaching, postgraduate supervision and postgraduate internal examination owed within the tenure of the current University Administration are fully paid.”

The source disclosed that the members at the congress resolved also that, “A clearly defined structure for the administration and remuneration of academic staff in the postgraduate programme is negotiated and agreed between the Administration of the University of Benin and ASUU UNIBEN.”

According to the source, the decision is to forestall another incidence of the interruption of the postgraduate program that may arise from the accumulation of unpaid entitlements to members in the near or distant future.

Asked why the Union waited till now to press home their demand,  the aggrieved members noted that Madam Vice-Chancellor tenure is almost running  out, adding that, “If we do not stand up for ourselves, especially in this very harsh and excruciating socio-economic climate, no one will. The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

Some lecturers who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity appealed to members to support the struggle and be mindful that any action that undermines the struggle is anti-Union activity and will attract appropriate sanctions from the Branch as well as the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Union.

It was further gathered that the suspension of academic services has the backing of its members both local and national who are resolute and steadfast in the struggle.

All efforts to reach Ray Chikogu and Success Abusomwan, ASUU UNIBEN Chairman and Secretary respectively was unsuccessful as well as calls put across to the Public Relations Officer of UNIBEN, Benedicta Ehanire went unanswered.

A source close to the university Vice-Chancellor, who confirmed the circular by ASSU UNIBEN directing members to down tools said efforts are in top gear to resolve all outstanding entitlements of the ASUU members involved in the post program of the institution.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lilian Salami, was on the 26th of October, 2019, appointed as the tenth substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin.

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