• faults creation of new universities
  • to sanction FUTO VC, others over Pantami’s professorship

 

Abiodun OBA

 

The National Executive Council, NEC, of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is decalring a month-long warning strike because “the Federal Government had ignored them and refused to meet their demands.”

The National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, made this known during NEC’s meeting in Lagos.

He said the strike, which takes effect from Monday, February 14, 2022, would last for an initial period of four weeks.

According to him, the union tried to avoid the strike but the Federal Government was unresponsive to the union’s demands.

The ASUU chairman also said ASUU NEC faulted the creation of new universities.

He said, “NEC resolved to embark on the four-week roll-over total and comprehensive strike as the government has failed to implement the Memorandum of Action it signed with the ASUU in December 2020.

“We invite all lovers of education to join our struggle for a greater Nigeria. Nigerian politicians keep proliferating educational institutions without prioritising education.

“ASUU will not relent in its historic responsibility of advocating an improved university system.

“This is because it holds the key to our collective prosperity and better future for our children and our children’s children; so, let us work together to fix it.”

Osodeke asked the Federal Government to caution the Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede,  over the unpaid Earned Academic Allowances of its members in the university.

“We have an agreed template with the Federal Government but the VC refused to pay. Failure to pay using that template is a misappropriation. He should be cautioned,” the ASUU president said.

Members of the union’s National Executive Council had held marathon meetings since Saturday at the University of Lagos titled, ‘NEC for NEC.’

ASUU had sensitised and mobilised lecturers and students across all universities to the reason the union might likely go on strike.

ASUU also vowed to sanction members, including the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, and others involved in the conferment of the position of Professor of Cybersecurity on the Minister of Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.

The union said the minister should resign his position for breaching due process as he cannot be a serving minister and still occupy a professorial seat in a university.

Osodeke said it was unfortunate that the education sector had been left to rot by the government.

“A lot of shenanigans are being perpetrated by people in government.

“One is the professorship conferred on Minister Isa Pantami.

“He is not a lecturer at FUTO and if he wants to be, let him resign his position and go and teach. All those involved would be sanctioned by our union including the Vice Chancellor.

“Proliferation of universities is embarrassing. Every senator now has a bill in which they are demanding that universities be set up in their constituencies without adequate provision made for the funding.

“We are suggesting that the law mandating the National Universities Commission, NUC, to license new universities be amended to ensure that at least a new university would have a take off grant of not less than N30 billion kept somewhere.

“Some state governments that are owing lecturers in their universities over six months salary arrears are also setting up new ones; that is a huge joke. Where will they get money to fund them?”

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