The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) University of Benin (Uniben) Chapter has announced the immediate withdrawal of its services from the postgraduate programmes of the institution.

This decision, taken on Sunday, is a part of the Union’s efforts to demand the payment of outstanding entitlements for postgraduate teaching and supervision.

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The indebtedness, which is owed by the current Uniben administration, is set to wind up in December 2024. The University ASUU Congress met on Friday, 14 June 2024, and resolved that all its members would cease their involvement in the postgraduate programme of the University of Benin immediately.

In a statement, the Union directed its members to cease engagement in postgraduate teaching, supervision, seminars, examinations, and board meetings until all the earned honoraria for postgraduate activities within the current administration’s tenure are fully paid. Additionally, they called for a clearly defined structure for the administration and remuneration of academic staff in the postgraduate programme, to be negotiated and agreed upon between the University administration and ASUU Uniben.

The lecturers have vowed to sustain the strike action on all postgraduate programmes to press home their demand for payment of all outstanding entitlements.

A source within the Union, speaking anonymously, mentioned that they have the backing of the national leadership of ASUU.

The demands cover all postgraduate teaching and supervision done throughout the tenure of the current Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lilian Salami.

“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,” the source stated.

Attempts to reach Dr. Benedicta Ehanire, the Public Relations Officer of the University, were unsuccessful as calls made to her cell phone did not connect.

However, a source close to the University’s Vice-Chancellor indicated that efforts are ongoing to resolve all outstanding entitlements of the ASUU members involved in the postgraduate programmes.

This move by ASUU Uniben highlights the ongoing challenges and grievances within the academic community regarding remuneration and working conditions, and it underscores the need for prompt resolution to ensure the smooth functioning of the University’s postgraduate programmes.