The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Tuesday raised alarm over the plan of the Federal Government to increase tuition fees to N350,000 per session in public universities.
The Zonal Chairman of the Union, Dr. Ade Adejumo, who disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Ibadan, said the decision was the position of Federal Government Team, led by Dr Wale Babalakin when the team visited the Union at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
He urged Nigerians to join the union in the struggle to make the federal do the needful on public education.
The Chairman noted that though the Union is kicking against FG’s plan to establish Education bank where students will beg for loans to enable them attend public universities, but public also need to do more.
Flanked by the Chairman, University of Ibadan ASUU, Dr Deji Omole, University of Osun Chairman, Dr Femi Abanikanda and the Investment Secretary of the University of Ibadan Chapter, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, Dr Adejumo warned that unless the federal government is prevailed upon to honour the Memorandum of Action it signed with the Union in 2017, it cannot guarantee industrial peace and harmony on university campuses.
According to the Union, the issues in the 2017 Memorandum of Action (MoA) that may lead to another strike included collapse of the renegotiation of 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, non-release of over two trillion Naira meant for the revitalization of decayed infrastructure in public varsities (2014-2018), failure to release the forensic audit on the disbursement of Earned Academic Allowances covering 2009 to 2017, failure to pay arrears of shortfall in accrued salaries in Universities that have been verified under PICA, failure to release operational license of NUPEMCO, and needless proliferation of State Universities.
While noting the dire situation in public universities, ASUU said instead of President Muhammadu Buhari led-government to inject funds into funding universities, its agents are busy spreading propaganda that it has released 20billion Naira to ASUU when in actual fact funds are released to University management.
ASUU said it was laughable that a shameless government could be happy releasing N20billion to about sixty-four public universities in the country wondering how insignificant this could be.
“Government has always agreed that the condition in Nigerian University is in a serious state that needs urgent intervention. As a result, government agreed to pay a quarterly intervention of N20billion into a dedicated account at the CBN to pilot the revitalization scheme. Unexpectedly, government has refused to pay the said amount which has now accrued to about 2 Trillion Naira. Instead of releasing the fund that will address the infrastructural deficit in Nigerian Universities as agreed, government went to the media last week that it has given N20billion to ASUU! This propaganda of government is unhelpful as ASUU is a union and does not collect money from government,” he said.
• Daily Trust