Gov. Udom Emmanuel has said that his administration was giving N327 million monthly allocation to Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU) in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of the state.

The institution’s academic union denied the Governor’s disclosure vehemently and has vowed not to call off the lingering strike that grounded academic activities in the state-owned tertiary institution for months now.

The Governor had, in a recent media programme, “The Governor Speaks,” aired on both the state-owned and private radio stations in the state, in his answer to one of the questions raised by the panellists, disclosed that his administration had been making available the sum of N327 million monthly as subvention to the management of the university.

The Governor, who equally disclosed that lecturers in the university were the highest paid in the country, expressed displeasure that lecturers were still unwilling to return to the classrooms despite the huge resources spent on the institution.

But, despite claims made by the Governor, the AKSU branch of the Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU) has vowed that the strike would continue until their demands were met by the state government.

The ASUU Chairman, Dr. Ime Okop, in an interview with our correspondent, maintained that the position of the union regarding the strike would not change as the lecturers were not prepared to shift ground until all their salaries and other entitlements were settled by the state government.

He said: “What the Governor went on air to say is not what we will contest; it is left for the management to explain. But what we know is that the university has been receiving the sum of N250 million as its monthly subvention as at 2019. So if the state government has increased it to N329 million, it is left for the management to explain, and let us know when the amount was increased.”

The Chairman frowned at the situation where both the state government and the management of the university were playing pranks with issues of education.

Okop said: “We are asking for our salaries to be paid in full and other allowances, we have been receiving half salaries, percentage salaries, and you cannot tell which month you were paid or not.

“That they sent security men to forcefully open the gate would not solve the problem. Now that they have succeeded in opening the gate, would they also force us to resume lectures?”

It would also be recalled that the Vice Chancellor of the school, Prof. Nse Essien, had assured the state House of Assembly that the institution was going to resume academic activities on Monday.

Essien, who appeared last week Wednesday before the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Education, assured that full academic activities were going to begin on Monday, May 31, 2021.

But, findings have revealed that academic activities are yet to commence days after the Vice Chancellor gave the assurance.

Further findings also revealed that lecturers were receiving half salaries.

The four industrial unions in the university have been on strike for about seven weeks now to press home their demands.

Appearing before the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, the Vice Chancellor stated: “We are on top of the matter and we are having series of meetings with various stakeholders to make sure that students and lecturers return to classrooms by next week.”

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Godwin Ekpo, urged the Vice Chancellor to do everything possible to bring to an end the lingering crisis in the university.

He said that the House was concerned that the strike adversely affected the completion agenda of the present government, with education as a critical point.

On January 4, the Akwa Ibom State government, the school management and the unions reached resolutions to end the prolonged strike.

The resolutions included immediate payment of three months backlog of 25 percent salary arrears to staffers of AKSU for January, February and March 2020, stoppage of payment of 75 percent salaries, and constitution of a Visitation Panel by the Visitor of the university, Udom Emmanuel.

The visitation panel, headed by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen had submitted its reports to the state government, although the report was yet to be made public.

The ongoing strike, which commenced in April, arose from the failure of the government and management of the university to implement the resolutions reached.

Both campuses at Ikot Akpanden in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area and Obio Akpa in Oruk Anam Local Government have remained locked.