Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has approved the increment of subvention to the state-owned tertiary institutions.
Speaking at the Government House entrance on Tuesday when he received members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) that were part of a nationwide protest in solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Governor Diri said as a government that places high premium on education, his administration took the decision to strengthen the institutions for effective service delivery.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that his administration did not stop the salary of ASUU members in state institutions despite the protracted strike.
He noted that the gesture was part of his government’s commitment to development of the educational subsector.
The Bayelsa helmsman, who described as unfortunate the current impasse between the Federal Government and ASUU, said no nation can thrive when education is not given the priority it deserves.
He called on the Federal Government to take urgent and necessary steps to end the five-month-old ASUU strike.
His words: “Today is not a very happy moment for us in government, particularly your prosperity government. There cannot be prosperity when schools are shut. I join you in solidarity and will convey your message to the federal government.
“No right thinking man, whether in authority or not, will accept what is going on. As a government, we invited ASUU and we had a robust meeting with them. We resolved that we will continue to pay them, and that we have been doing. We cannot allow our educational system to die. It is your place to determine whether or not we will continue on this trajectory.”
Earlier, the State NLC Chairman, Comrade Bipre Ndiomu, said the workers were at the Government House gate as part of a nationwide protest in solidarity with ASUU.
He said the ASUU strike was at a huge cost and appealed to the governor to help labour impress on the Federal Government to do the needful for schools to be reopened.
Comrade Ndiomu said the protest was the first step to ensure that the federal government complied with ASUU’s demands after which labour will embark on a three-day warning strike and an indefinite one if the demands were not met.