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FG is not interested in public university funding – Arizona State University

Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, an offshoot of the Faculty Members Union of Universities, ASUU, has accused the federal government of not being interested in funding public universities in the country.

She said the lack of funding for public universities in the country on the pretext that the government had no money was a deliberate attempt to charge exorbitant school fees that the average Nigerian could not afford.

The branch president, Ibrahim Inoua, made the announcement at a press conference held at the secretariat of Arizona State University, ATBU, shortly after a peaceful protest was held on Tuesday.

The Daily Post reported that the union held a conference, after which they staged the protest from their secretariat and marched to the main ATBU gate and returned to their starting point.

They sang songs of solidarity and carried banners with various inscriptions such as: “ASUU demands the publication of UTAS”, “ASUU refuses to divide the salaries of academics”, “ASUU is more patriotic than FGN officials”, “Release the salaries of academics withheld”, “We say no to the privatization of public universities” , “IPPIS and prorated payment of academics is a diversion from our demands,” among others.

He said, “It has become clear to the Federation that Nigerian governments are not interested in developing Nigerian public universities into world-class university best practices:

What is clear is the willful underfunding of universities through the guise of having no money, thus charging exorbitant school fees beyond the reach of the children of the masses, and eventually privatizing these universities for themselves.

After suspending the eight-month strike due to a court order and interventions by well-meaning Nigerians, the government has regressed to the point of withholding ASU members’ salaries and only paying October salaries pro rata. The union refuses to formalize Nigerian academics.

The Union assures Nigerians that it will never be a party to the destruction of the country. The Federation will never support the imposition of exorbitant fees beyond the reach of the children of oppressed Nigerians; Nor will it be party to the privatization of Nigerian public universities.”

He added, “As a law-abiding union, ASU used several diplomatic means to persuade the government to address contentious issues on public universities, but all fell on deaf ears. Then, as on other occasions, the union had no choice but to declare a strike on nationwide on February 14, 2022 to bring his demands home.For the avoidance of doubt, the issues that have called for the strike are:

“While the Federation struggles day and night to ensure that the government honors the agreement it so willingly signed with the Federation, governments at the state and federal levels have become politically obsessed with creating public universities, even when existing ones are clearly severely underfunded.

What’s more, the University Visiting Committees, which by law provide university visitors (president/governors) after every four years an opportunity to investigate the conduct of university operations in terms of finance, staff, academic activities, and other matters, have not been conducted for more than fifteen years: it took Another ASU strike order in 2020 is for the government to establish visiting committees, but as of now visitation white papers are still pending.”

He appealed to Nigerians of good will to take control of the government, as a matter of urgency and in the national interest, to resolve all outstanding issues with ASU for the welfare of the Nigerian nation so that the country can take its rightful place in the world, stating that “to avoid suspicion, we wish to state clearly That we will continue to defend the university system and the Nigerian state by all lawful means, and we cannot be intimidated by tyrants.”

Also speaking, Bauchi District Coordinator Professor Luan Abubakar accused the Federal Government of systematic attempts to destroy public universities in Nigeria by allowing strikes for a prolonged period.

Abu Bakr, who said the withholding of its members’ salaries and proportionate payments are misrepresentations by the government of key issues, accused the government of provoking the last strike over seven months and allowing it to continue when it could have ended it within a short period. period of time by implementing the agreements reached with the union.

“The federation decided to go like this: We suspended the last strike after seeing that the last strike was triggered by the government in the first place because it was not necessary after the 2020 strike because we had a memorandum of understanding and there were implementation timelines.

“And the government came to the conclusion eight months later when it could have done the same in February 2022. We saw a systematic attempt to destroy the Nigerian public university system, and we thought we were the most enlightened and said enough of ourselves to strike.”

“And when the government now continued provocation to the extent of paying the October salary proportionately, we went to the National Executive Council meeting and assured the Nigerians that we really will not join hands with these elements in the government that want to create continuous problems in the Nigerian public university system so that private universities can flourish because as it is now More than 95 percent of Nigerian students are still in public universities.”

The District Coordinator said: “Private universities are less than 5 per cent and they are enjoying while public universities are depleting, so they need to be protected by these elements in the government because most of them have these private universities and most of them have apparently evil motives to privatize the public universities; that is The reason why some of them put Federal Universities in their villages is so that they can quickly own and run them.”

 

FG is not interested in public university funding – Arizona State University

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