SOLUTIONS TO THE STRIKE IN THE BENUE STATE UNIVERSITY - Snazzy.com.ng https://nairapp.com/index.php?rp=6751

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SOLUTIONS TO THE STRIKE IN THE BENUE STATE UNIVERSITY

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BY ONOJA, BENEDICT PAUL (A PUBLIC AFFAIRS ANALYST AND CRITIC)
The cancerous implications of industrial action (strike) in any industry is deadly. Therefore, it is patient to find solutions to this dread disease in the Benue State University.

The demands of the striking staff seem to be complex in the eyes of the Government of Benue State; however, a competent government must find solutions to complex issues. I belong to the school of thought that believes that the demands are not as complex as they are perceived to be.

The staff demands for a reduction in tax burden; even though each state operates on its own, Why not the Government of Benue State makes consultations with other state governments to acertain what they take as tax from their university staffs and get the Benue Internal Revenue Board (BIRD) in to action to work out new tax regime as acceptable by other state of relative equal rank of Benue State? Could that also be complex due to lack of finance?

Similarly they demand for health insurance which also has financial implications but not too urgent. At least no staff would like to make hospital his home because treatment will be relatively free! Could that also be complex to find the way out?

Furthermore, the pension issue needs legislation since it has never been part of the job contract signed with the striking staff from day one of the BSU. Why should the learned striking staff not use lobby for legislative support than the arsenal of strike? Even though it is glary unacceptable for one to work and retire without pension, it was not part of the job agreement they signed and accepted. So, it shouldn't be solved by bring down the university and frustrate students.

Nevertheless, the executive and the legislature must know that they are there to serve the interest of the masses and speedy the passage of the bill for the enactment of pension scheme for this staff. They are nation builders and their impacts are invaluable. They deserved to be takn care of at retirement. There is no reason to justify polticians entitle to pension and leave nation builders like the lecturers out.

There are many federal and state institutions that depend on registering themselves with pension organisations without government funding while others have megal funding from the individuals and a makeup from the government. Why not the striking staff and the government take the latter option since we have scarce resources?

In addition, the staff demands for Earned Academic Allowances which have not been paid since the past eight years. This is pathetic and unacceptable! Therefore the government should source for fund and pay them at least six months out of the ninety six months; while they work out the modality for subsequence payment of the rest.

The striking staff too should not insit on bulk payment more than this because it is an inherited debt and we all understand how difficult things are even for the government in this economic recession in Nigeria.

The cancerous implications of the ongoing strike in BSU cut across: academics, economical and political. The strike has paralyzed the academic activities in the university for over 75 days and this has affected the psychology of the students badly. If nothing is do to to end it, it could lead to cancelation of the academic session! And when this happens, it will not only be academic implications but also economical because it will affect the revenue generation of the institution. More so, the striking staff will still demand for pay of the months they did not work for and this means that the Government of Benue State stands to lose by paying for those months. Why not consider that implication and pay them so that they could go back to class?

The students too are not only losing academically but also economically. Their exortbitant house rents are wasting and enjoying by curb webs and dust. Only for them to renew the payments without enjoying the earlier money they paid.

In case Governor Ortom must be told, this strike has political implications and it will show him the way out of Benue People's House.


Conclusively, Governor Ortom should do what is expected of him and end this strike. He could bring a neutral person to head the negotiation with the striking staff not members of his poltical party as that will build trust in the negotiation process. ASUU and NASUU should shift grounds for the interest of students, parents and the state.

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