From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
The management of Kano University of Science and Technology (KUST), Wudil, on Saturday, dismissed claims by the University’s branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) that it is being under-funded by Kano state government.
The AUTHORITY reports that in a Statement signed by the University’s ASUU Chairman and Secretary, Comrade Muhammad Sani Gaya and Comrade Murtala Muhammad, they accused Kano state government of starving the institution of needed funds.
They lamented that for a long time, the state has virtually abandoned the provision of needed infrastructure of the University to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
According to the Union, “the poor funding of the University, has adversely affected the running of the University, resulting into inadequate offices and Laboratories, especially in newly established Departments, poor condition of Students hostels, among others.
The Union added that, “the desperate attempt by the authority of the University to hike registration fees for undergraduate students could not be properly accounted for, as externally audited reports were not presented before the Council within the last few years.
“It was in violation of the University law and services rendered were unjustifiable, adding that consequently, the Union vehemently rejects the proposed hike in the registration fees.
”The union further expressed displeasure over the non-payment of staff entitlements, some of which have lingered, since 2009-2010 season.”
”In light of the foregoing, the union resolved the draw the attention of the State Government and the authorities of the University to address the funding situation of the University in concrete terms and settle all outstanding claims of staff, on or before Sunday, March 7. 2020 to avoid disruption of the academic calendar and in the interest of industrial peace and harmony.”
”It said, the Union should not be blamed for any unpalatable action, it takes after the expiration of the deadline.”
In a swift reaction to the allegations, KUST Head of Information and Public Relations Unit, Sa’idu Abdullahi Nayaya debunked all the allegations, describing them as baseless.
He rather urged the ASUU to join hands for the development of the university instead of pulling down the development and fortunes of the Citadel of Higher Learning.
Nayaya who addressed journalists stated that, “the University management will like to categorically state that Kano state government as proprietor of the University has been making releases of funds, including the provision of N774 million for accreditation; prompt payment of salaries and wages of staff amounting to N2.6 billion annually; and as well, undertook other developmental projects—both academic and physical.”
He further stated that, “on the claim that the University solely depends on TETFund for the provision of needed infrastructure, we want to observe that TETFund was established to undertake such mandate to support tertiary education in all public institutions.
“The Management of the University should be appreciated for its zeal in attracting high impact, special and Zonal Interventions to the University which led to the initiation and completion of many projects.”
Nayaya added that, “the University management has made payments of most of the claims of the ASUU members on availability of funds. For instance, over N198 million has been paid as Post Graduate Research Grant to Academic staff; N200 million as Hazard Allowance for Non-teaching staff.
“Hence, it is noteworthy that the Research Grant for Academic Staff was fully paid on Monday, 27 January, 2020.
“On the alleged attempt by the University to increase registration fees, we would like to categorically state that fees are not static, but subject to revive, as such, it is in that direction that the Senate of the University approved for the review of the fees charged between N21, 500 and N23, 200 by the University which is the lowest compared to all other Universities in the country.”