ASUU: PRIVATE VARSITIES VCs, ALUMNI ASK FG TO END STRIKE

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The Committee of Vice Chancellors and Registrars of Private Universities has called on the Nigerian government to consider the future of students and put an end to the lingering Academic Staff Union of Universities strike.

 

Due to the refusal of the Federal Government to sign the demands of ASUU and after the last negotiation meeting ended in deadlock on August 16, 2022, ASUU, on Monday, August 29, 2022, went on a total indefinite strike.

 

Speaking in an interview with The PUNCH, chairman, CVCRPUN, Prof. Kabiru Adeyemo, who is also the VC of Lead City University, Oyo State, maintained that the prolonged strike was becoming worrisome.

 

He said, ‘‘The current strike action of the Nigerian universities is becoming worrisome, damaging, too long and highly devastating. The federal government should find a lasting solution and allow the students to resume back for lectures. Our universities must resume now The students, parents and stakeholders have suffered. The federal government should be sincere, both parties should be ready to shift grounds and allow the public universities to reopen for academic activities. Enough is enough.

 

“Our relationship between private and public universities is symbiotic. It will be to our own joy and glory for the government to open the universities so that students can go back to school. Government and ASUU should agree because the hardship is too much on students and parents.’’

 

Similarly, VC of Babcock University, Illishan Remo, Prof Ademola Tayo, added that government should always come clean with university workers in their commitment to funding education.

 

Tayo explained that it was important government and university officials were transparent in ending the ASUUU strike, saying one of the ways to end strikes was for government to prioritise education as it prioritises security.

 

In fact, education should be seen as the twin sister of security. Each successive national government should prioritize education and security in the national budget.

 

‘‘Transparency on the part of university administrators including lecturers is important and critical to ending incessant strikes. University officials should be transparent in the utilization of the funds made available to them by government.

 

‘‘If funds are transparently administered, it would yield important outcomes such as state of the art facilities, highly motivated university workers, higher productivity and quality graduates and thus, fewer or no strikes.

 

Transparency on the part of government is also crucial to ending strikes. Government should always come clean with university workers in their commitment to funding education. Government at state and local levels should also allow significant increase in financial commitment to the education sector. Apart from ending strikes, it will accelerate progress toward the education for all goals.’’

 

Tayo added that with the dwindling national revenue and diminishing government funding, public tertiary institutions should be granted full autonomy to operate and complement government in funding their institutions.

 

‘‘In this case, universities can charge fees as they believe can assist to provide the necessary facilities to enhance learning.

 

‘‘With full autonomy, the enterprising among these federal and state tertiary institutions could seize the opportunity to go into income generating ventures. Aside the accruable revenue to be earned from these ventures by the institutions, many people would also be gainfully employed by these ventures,’’ he said.

 

On his part, Mountain Top University, Ogun State, Prof. Elijah Ayolabi, said the government would destroy the future of its youths and the entire nation if the strike was not unresolved.

 

Ayolabi said, ‘‘ASUU strike is not new. The tactics of the government also is not new. Government should think twice and consider the future of our youth so that they don’t take decision that will jeopardise their future and the entire nation.’’

 

Meanwhile, the Concerned Alumni Of Nigerian Universities, in a statement also expressed concern over the unabated crises between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government and the continued closure of universities in Nigeria.

 

The statement titled, ‘Concerned alumni Of Nigerian Universities on the lingering ASUU strike’ was signed by the following, president, University of Lagos Alumni Association, Dr John Momoh, National Chairman, Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities for ABU Alumni Association Prof. Ahmed Mora, President, University of Ibadan Alumni, Prof. Elsie Adewoye, President, University of Calabar Alumni, Prof. Yakubu Aboki Ochefu, President, University of Jos Alumni Pst. Nuhu Sani, President, University of Port Harcourt Alumni Pst. Ule Williams Glad.

 

It read partly, ‘‘The Association called on the Presidency to wade into the matter as a matter of utmost concern so that all contending issues are speedily and expeditiously resolved. On the other hand, the Association is pleading with the leadership of ASUU to sheath its sword and recall its members back to the universities as they have made their point. The opinion of the members of the public generally is in favour of resumption of academic activities in the universities that have been closed for over six months now.

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