ASUU Kicks Against Resumption of Tertiary Institutions, See Reason

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ASUU Kicks Against Resumption of Tertiary Institutions, See Reason
Nwolu Obiajulu

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has warned against reopening of universities at the moment as it could lead to second wave of COVID-19 in the country.

This was disclosed by the Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Dr. Igbana Ajir in Mukurdi, Benue State at the weekend.

Ajir cautioned that reopening of tertiary institutions now without proper arrangement to contain the spread of COVID-19 such as hostel accommodation, availability of facilities to enable social distancing in large and overcrowded classrooms among others would be counterproductive, Guardian reports.

Speaking on establishment of illegal universities, he wondered how government have allegedly turned establishment of universities into constituency projects.

Ajir said, “The visitors of these new institutions are obviously more interested in making political capital than having functional tertiary institutions. The most glaring examples of these states include Ondo, Gombe, Bayless and Kogi.

“And without adequate preparation for running these institutions, they tend to rely on TETFund and school fees as major sources of funding. Most universities today consider payment of school fees as internally generated revenue, with which to run their institutions and pay part of their staff salaries. The union condemns this in totality as it is a pretex for increasing school fees payable by poor parents in Nigeria.”

The university union equally decried an alleged embarrassing scenario whereby three out of 12 universities established by former President Goodluck Jonathan have been operating close to ten years without their establishment laws.

“These are Federal University, Wukari; Federal University, Guau and Federal University, Birnin Jenni. This implies that these institutions have been graduating students illegally and running illegal programmes.

“We are therefore calling on the general public and well-meaning Nigerians to stand and stop this design to scuttle the academic pursuit of poor children in public universities in Nigeria,” he said

ASUU condemned the proscription of the union and sacking of over 120 of its members in Kogi State University, Anyigba who are loyal to the union by the visitor to the institution without due consideration of the law.

He said, “We are, therefore, calling on all branch chairpersons of ASUU to adequately mobilize their congresses on sanctions against the university as resolved at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at Enugu State University of Science and Technology. “

ASUU also alleged the fraudulent reduction in COVID-19 cases were aimed at hastily reopening of universities.

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