Academic and administrative activities across tertiary institutions in Niger State were yesterday grounded by protesting lecturers and non-academic staff over pressing grievances.
Niger State College of Education (COE) Minna, Justice Fati Lami Abubakar College of Legal and General Studies also in Minna, Niger State Polytechnic, Zungeru and the College of Agriculture, Mokwa have been shut indefinitely as a result of the strike which commenced yesterday.
Among the lot, only the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University (IBBU) Lapai was yet to fully join the strike declared by the Committee of Unions in Niger State Owned Tertiary Institutions.
Our correspondent observed a total lock-down of activities at the College of Education in Minna as early as 8 am, with students stranded at the gate.
Most of the students spoken to said they arrived for academic activities only to meet the main gates to the institution shut.
At the centre of the on-going crisis were the failure of government to carry out rehabilitation of decayed infrastructure in these institutions, failure by government to fully implement the Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education academic salary structure and Consolidated Tertiary Institutions salary structure, among other things.
The staff had earlier given the state government a 21-day-ultimatum within which to meet its demands, followed by three days of a warning strike.
The commissioner of Education Hajiya Fatima Madugu described the strike as unfortunate, adding that the state government tried to address the anomaly.
She said the head of service, her ministry and representatives of the unions were already meeting to resolve the crisis.