Niger Delta University (NDU) Matters

NDU has been a badly managed institution. As a visitor, I have read the visitation panel reports and I have set up other committees that have looked at various aspects.

 

I have been Governor for a little over four years and government has been spending close to five hundred million naira every month as wage bill. Shortly after I assumed office, I gave the NDU Governing Council a clear mandate to reorganize how the university is being funded or else the institution may not survive and this mandate was premised on the need to realign the institution and gradually shift her off the path of absolute dependence on government.

 

Moreover, since they are autonomous and they jealously guard that, they however use that as a right to employ and engage contract lecturers, academic and no- academic staff as they please and at then at the end of each month send the bill to the Bayelsa State Government to pay.

 

That is a wrong structure and my position on this is not because I am Governor. In principle, it is not right neither is it sustainable. Now that our salary wage bill is high and our revenue dropping, the NDU lecturers are no different from other civil servants in the state.

 

In the past four years we never owed any salaries but with the terrible short fall in the revenue it became imperative to reorganize and with the 50% payment agreement we brokered with the various unions based on the facts on ground and I sincerely want to use this opportunity to thank the NLC and the TUC members for being reasonable. However, the NDU lecturers insisted on a 100% salaries or else they will embark on a strike action.