ASUU Strike: Ex varsity administrator counsels FG, seeks end to industrial action

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The federal government has been urged to make efforts at ending the prolonged strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

A former university teacher, Professor Femi Olaofe who gave the advice attributed the action to the failure of the government to fulfill its previous agreements with the workers and introduction of policies considered not too good for the system.

Olaofe, who is a former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti (EKSU) said the position of the union was for improved university education in the country.

Speaking in Ado Ekiti, the Professor of Chemistry said, “The ASUU stance on the university education is to improve the standard such that the quality of our products (students and research outputs) are acceptable all over the world because the university is a universal organisation.

“The university can attract competent hands from all over the world”.

He noted that infrastructure in most of the public universities are in a bad state, saying no 24 hour water and power supply, state of the art equipment, etc.

“All these do not allow ASUU members to perform their main duties (teaching and research) efficiently and uptimally.

“ASUU staff members are poorly paid, the salary of a Processor less than 1000 dollars, which is less than the salary of a cleaner in developed countries.

“The conditions in our Universities not only encourage brain drain, it does not attract staff from other countries, while Nigerians who trained outside only want to stay back without coming home”.

On the issuance of licenses to establish new tertiary institutions, he said such a move is highly undesirable.

“The existing ones are not well funded, adequately staff, lacking adequate and reliable infrastructure”.

Olaofe who sympathized with Nigerian students and their parents over strike said “Majority of these students are from poor homes with parents who can not afford to send their children to Nigerian private or foreign universities.

“ASUU is fighting for you such that your children can have improved and standard university education as we have it in the nineteen seventies.

“The policy makers in Nigeria send their children to Nigerian private or foreign universities using our stolen funds”.

On why the academic is resisting the introduction of IPPIS, he said the policy does not give room for the smooth running of the university.

Professor Olaofe listed some of its demerits as inability to employ new workers without getting permission from Abuja, errors in the payment of salary can only be corrected in Abuja, lack of autonomy in terms of financial, appointment and promotion management to Abuja among others.