Education

ASUU Appeals to FG: Implement Agreements to Prevent Educational Breakdown

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In a bid to address the persistent challenges facing Nigeria’s tertiary education sector, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has once again urged the federal government to honor its commitments and implement the agreements reached over the years. The appeals came during separate press conferences held by the University of Ilorin and Kwara State University, highlighting the urgent need for adequate funding of existing universities rather than establishing new ones that cannot be adequately supported.

ASUU has consistently emphasized that strikes are not their preferred method of action but are often used as a last resort when negotiations fail. Since 2019, several agreements aimed at improving the welfare of university staff and enhancing infrastructure across institutions have been signed between ASUU and the federal government. However, the lack of implementation has led to repeated industrial actions to draw attention to the unmet demands.

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During the recent press conferences, the University of Ilorin branch of ASUU, represented by its chairman Dr. Alex Akanmu, reiterated the union’s call for the government to fulfill its promises. Dr. Akanmu highlighted that despite the high expectations from the current administration, there has been little progress in addressing the issues. He mentioned that the renegotiation of the 2019 agreement between the federal government and ASUU remains unfulfilled, causing frustration among university staff.

Dr. Akanmu stated, “Barely a year ago when the present administration was inaugurated, all hopes were high on timely resolution of our demands, given the pseudo-democratic roles played by some elements now in government. True to nature, they acted contrary and became more anti-labour to the appropriation. With joint efforts, we have a country to rescue, we assure you that we shall overcome. For the avoidance of doubt, a few of our issues with the government are hereby brought to the notice of the public.”

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Similarly, the Kwara State University branch of ASUU, led by Dr. Shehu Salau, echoed these concerns. Dr. Salau pointed out that many universities are still grappling with unpaid salaries and inadequate funding, which severely hampers their operations. He revealed that about three and a half months of salaries are still owed to university staff, causing significant financial strain on the members.

Dr. Salau commented, “ASUU condemns the deceitfulness of concerned authorities in the lives and members of our members across campuses. We warned that it will be unfortunate if we are forced to take action to demand the redress of all outstanding issues. ASUU is not strike moulders. We don’t want a strike. But by the time we are forced to take action—in most of our universities, about three and a half months of our salaries are still being withheld. The government should immediately pay back those salaries.”

Both branches of ASUU stressed the importance of prioritizing the funding of existing universities to enhance their capabilities and ensure the quality of education. They argued that the establishment of new universities without addressing the needs of current institutions would only exacerbate the challenges facing the higher education sector.

The appeals made by the University of Ilorin and Kwara State University branches of ASUU underscore the critical need for the federal government to take immediate action to resolve the ongoing issues. By fulfilling its agreements and providing adequate funding, the government can help avert further educational disruptions and support the development of a robust and sustainable university system in Nigeria.

For more details, you can visit the original article on Channels TV.

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