By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
The Academic Staff Union of Universities
(ASUU) on Tuesday in Ibadan raised the alarm over plot by the Federal Government to hike the tuition fees in public universities to N350,000 declaring that it would resist the plot at all costs.
Dr Ade Adejumo, the Chairman of Ibadan Zone of the union backed up by other zonal officers of the union while fielding questions from news men after a press briefing said that the union would not allow any attempt to commercialise education in the country.
Ibadan zone of ASUU consists of University of Ibadan, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) University of Osun, Kwara State University University and University of Ilorin.
Dr Adejumo disclosed that the Federal Government has failed on the agreement reached between it and the University lecturers adding that the next step was to embark on industrial action which would commence after public awareness.
Dr Adejumo said in the address titled “Before Another disharmony in the Nigerian University System, “After all avenues to seek the attention of government failed,went on a warning strike in 2017 to press home some demands. At the point at which the warning strike was suspended,our union signed a Memorandum of Action with government.
“Unfortunately,we are now back to where we started with the Federal Government failure to implement the agreements reached with our union in the MOA.”
He listed the issues as including collapse of 2017/2018 renegotiation ,non release of close to two Trillion Naira being arrears of Revitalization fund for 2014-2018,non release of the forensic report on the disbursement of EAA coverings the period of 2009 to 2017, failure to pay arrears of shortfall in accrued salaries in Universities that have been verified under PICA and failure to release operational licence to NUPEMCO.
The Union leader added, “We are now faced with a situation where governors now establish states Universities to score cheap political point stressing that there was no sense establishing more universities when those in existence were not well funded.”
Dr Adejumo reiterated that the union was bringing these issues to the knowledge of the public as a responsible union with a huge stake in the educational sector in the country.
On the exact time of commencement of the proposed strike, the Zonal Chairman said that congresses would be held in all chapters and the public sufficiently informed before any date would be publicly announced.