Delta varsities’ teachers earn more than federal counterparts, says Okowa

By Gabriel Elozino

Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has chastised the Federal Government over its inability to end the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

According to him, the Federal Government should deploy a delegation to Delta to learn how it was able to manage four state-owned universities without any form of crisis or strike.

He disclosed that professors in the state universities earn N150,000 more than their federal counterparts.

ASUU on Monday extended its six months old strike indefinitely over failure by the Federal Government to reach a compromise with the union.

The governor, via his Chief Press Secretary, Olise Ifeajika, while reacting to the development, called on the Federal Government to draw down from the strength with which it yielded to his (Okowa) call for a review of the pipeline surveillance contract recently awarded to High Chief Government Ekpemuokpolo aka Tompolo.

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He said: “The University lecturers have extended their strike indefinitely, not just by one or two months but indefinite and that is terrible for the system. The children have been at home for six months, meaning that they don’t even know how long more they will be at home.

“The sad thing is that, if you have a child that is in the University of Benin, University of Lagos, University of Port Harcourt, and another one that is maybe younger, that is in Delta State University, Abraka or University of Science and Technology, Ozoro here and they entered same time, the one in the Federal university is at home, the one in the state university is in school and activities are on, he is writing his exams, he will graduate first.

“Our governor has said that even with four universities here in Delta, all the schools are open, the students are on campus, whatever the requirements are, the state government is meeting. So we are asking federal government to listen to him, the same way they listened to him on the oil theft solution, they should come and adapt, come and understudy us on how we are managing four universities to put the lecturers out of strike, make them remain in school and they are teaching our students.

“No matter how late it may seems, they should come. Everything that teachers need, parents need, students need in terms of infrastructure they are in our universities. There is industrial harmony. Rather than put parents through this torture, students through this trauma of just getting education at their home, they should come and understudy us in Delta and do the things that are right.

“They should send a delegation team to meet us to show them how we have been able to keep our university teachers on campus. It’s on record, that apartment from every other things like infrastructure, a professor in the Federal Universities that is at the bar, that is, the end, where he cannot be promoted again and his contemporary in Delta State University, our own here earns salary that is N150,000 more than the Federal Professor.

“In other words, the state government pays more. Federal Government has more money and we think Federal Government can do better. If it is the modus that may be the issue, they should come and learn from us.”

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