Bayelsa state governor, senator Douye Diri has again reassured the academic staff union of universities (ASUU) of his commitment towards an improved welfare and educational standards across the state.
Governor Diri made the commitment in Yenagoa, the state capital during a protest organized by the Bayelsa state chapter of the Nigerian labour congress(NLC), as part of a nationwide protest held by the organized labour in solidarity with ASUU over its protracted Strike.
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The Tide reports that the academic staff union of universities (ASUU) has been on strike for no fewer than five months demanding the Federal government to honour old agreements earlier entered with her which the former stated were aimed at improving the nation’s education sector.
Addressing the protesters, governor Diri restated that no nation can develop without a virile educational system, saying that it was based on this premise that his government have held series of meetings and consultations with the academic staff unions of the state owned higher institutions with a view to finding solutions to the problems facing the state’s universities and sister higher institutions of learning.
“No nation can develop without improving the educational standards of its institutions of learning. I’m in solidarity with the NLC and ASUU.No nation or state can prosper without improvements in its educational system.
”Many of us in leadership positions have past through this system and it was not so during our time, if not we’ld not have been where we’re”,
“Due to our resolve to improve the standards of education in our state owned higher institutions, we met with the ASUU chapters of our state owned universities and we’ve resolved to continue the payment of their salaries even though they’re on strike. And we’ve been paying since after our meeting.
“We’ve also as government increased the subventions to the Bayelsa state owned higher institutions for better performance. We as leaders were once students and we’ld not cut the ladder after climbing so that others can climb it too. It’s worrisome that the nation’s ivory tours are still going through all this. We thought we’ve gone past this,”
Meanwhile in an address to the government, the state NLC chairman, Comrade, John Ndiomu had lauded governor Diri for his labour friendly policies and programmes.
Ndiomu noted that the nation’s education sector can not continue going through comatose situation, insisting that the protest was amongst a series of activities the NLC tend to use in bringing an end to the Protracted ASUU strike and pummel on the need to improve the nation’s educational sector.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the academic staff union of universities (ASUU) of the state owned Niger Delta university (NDU), Professor Tonbara Kingdom said the protest was not just about ASUU alone, but for all Nigerians and lovers of education, just as he averred that with an improved educational standards the nation would be better-off.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa