Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, has affirmed his commitment to addressing issues facing Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu, with the aim of resolving them and elevating the institution to stand out among other tertiary institutions in the country.
In a meeting with the executives of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), ABSU Chapter, led by the Zonal Coordinator (ASUU National), Calabar Zone, Dr. Happiness Uduak, Governor Otti expressed his willingness to consider and resolve the challenges brought to his attention by the union.
While acknowledging the union’s gratitude for prompt payment of salaries and benefits since assuming office, Governor Otti assured that the demands presented by ASUU were reasonable. He emphasized the need for financial independence for universities, suggesting that ABSU ASUU explore avenues to contribute to the institution’s financial autonomy, pledging his support in the process.
Surprised by the reported 18-month salary differential and 11 months salary arrears, Governor Otti highlighted the importance of universities being financially self-sufficient. He mentioned plans to meet with the University Management to address various issues, including corporate governance, setting up a visitation panel, and considering the union’s request for increased subvention.
The ASUU delegation, led by Dr. Uduak, commended Governor Otti for his developmental projects in the state and prompt release of monthly subventions, fostering positive relations between the government and the Union. The union, however, raised concerns about outstanding salaries, calling for a review of subvention and salary renegotiation.
Dr. Chidi Mbah, ASUU ABSU Branch Chairperson, emphasized the need for the Governor to personally visit the university and witness the challenges faced. The Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Kazie Uko, shared this update on January 31, 2024.