Liberia: Nimba University College to Faces Uncertainty
The Nimba County University College faces some uncertainties due to limited budgetary allotment made in the national budget for the institution as staff threatened to boycott classes.
The school President, Dr. Jesse N. Mongrue, said the budget allotted by the central government is not enough to address the school's needs. According to him, the institution submitted a budget of about US$6 million to the central government, but when the National Budget was passed, only US$1.9 million was allotted in the budget for the hugely populated university, something he said was very little to run a university, given the present-day realities.
“We are still negotiating with the government through the Legislative Caucus of Nimba so the government can increase the budget to enable the school to run effectively,” Dr. Mongrue said.
He added the institution is currently running six colleges and the allotment made in the national Budget may likely hamper the smooth running of the school, "running a College is different from running a university, so if we can get half of what we submitted, at least it will be good for us.”
When asked whether the limited budgetary allotment will undermine the smooth running of the school, he said, “anytime you have a plan or a vision without the resources, not just monetary, it will not sit well for what you want to do.” Nimba University formerly called Nimba County Community College was founded on September 16, 2010, by the 52nd Legislature, building on the idea that every Liberian deserves access to education.
Meanwhile, the staff of the university has taken to local radio airwaves, threatening not to go to class until the budget can be increased by the national government. They explained that some of the colleges or even universities across the country are receiving more budgetary allotments than the Nimba County University College, as well as providing good wages to their staff.
“Our student population comes second to the University of Liberia and far beyond some of the colleges or universities around. So why should we receive a small budget?” the aggrieved staff argued.
Even though the institution is yet to open, the commencement of instructional activities remains uncertain, because of low wages and the low budgetary allotment.
However, Dr. Mongrue had confirmed the staff action, but said they are still trying to convince them to drop their go-slow action, while the administration negotiates with the government to find a way to increase the school’s budget.
“Nearly all our staff are master’s degree holders and they need better wages. Besides that, we have a lot of activities as a university now, so a low budget could frustrate anyone; but are appealing to them to stop their strike action,” he said.