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Saturday, 24 February 2024 04:32

FG inflicting hardship on lecturers, students - ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has accused the Nigerian government of inflicting hardship on lecturers and students.

Speaking on Friday at a press conference organised at the University of Lagos by the Lagos Zone of the union, the Zonal Coordinator, Prof Adelaja Odukoya, explained that it was imperative to update Nigerians about the events that transpired after the last nationwide strike that was suspended on October 14, 2022, ASUU’s interactions with the present administration, and the possible consequences of the lack of notable actions by the authorities.

ASUU had over time lamented the government’s refusal to fulfil the agreements it had with lecturers.

Odukoya said the government had shown consistent insensitivity to agreements and the well-being of patriotic academics in Nigeria’s public universities.

“The government has persisted in inflicting misery on lecturers and students in Nigeria, despite their sincere efforts to elevate our public universities to a global standard. ASUU is unfazed in its patriotic endeavors.

“To reposition the Nigerian university system, we call on other patriots in the media, labour movement, student organisations, and civil society organisations to join ASUU in the rejection of the government’s master-slave posture on labour matters,” he said.

Odukoya insisted that despite its promises ahead of assuming office, the Bola Tinubu administration had failed to live up to expectations concerning the issues that had been at the forefront of the union’s recent strike actions, the last being from February to October 2022.

Some of the issues he highlighted were the renegotiation of the FGN/ASUU 2009 agreement, withheld salaries, unpaid arrears of earned academic allowance, removal from integrated personnel and payroll information system, public universities and the treasury single account, and proliferation of universities.

Speaking on TETFUND and foreign partnerships, Odukoya said, “As if the abuse and violation of TETFUND by the government are not enough, our union has further noted reports in the media, not refuted, of TETFUND’s intention to help King’s College, London, to establish a medical school in Nigeria in the name of partnership.

“We urge the leadership of the Fund to provide further updates on this proposed course of action and allay fears that it is contemplating funds meant for the development of Nigerian institutions for the development of foreign ones. We believe very strongly that there are many areas in which the agency can strengthen its interventions to the benefit of Nigerian universities.”

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