Dr Adekunle Idris, Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Lagos State University, Ojo (LASU) chapter, on Monday called on the State Government to urgently address some burning issues in the institution.
Briefing journalists in Lagos, Idris urged the state government, university council and management to address the lingering issues to forestall looming crises.
He said that the ASUU congress in the university had mandated the executive committee to explore avenues of dialogue to resolve the contending issues.
The union leader, however, said that they may be forced to declare an industrial action if the dialogue with the government failed to achieve the desired result.
Shedding light on the issues at stake, Idris said that the state government had not implemented the Universities Miscellaneous Provision Act 2012 in LASU.
“This law was passed by the Federal Republic of Nigeria for effective running of universities and we were part of ASUU /FG 2009 agreement.
“One of the provisions of the agreement is that academic staff on professional cadre shall retire at age 70 and non-academic staff at 65.
“It also says that principal officers shall serve for a single term of five years,” he said.
Idris said that the state government had, during a deliberation with the institution’s four unions on Dec. 31, 2010, promised to implement the agreement but failed to do so.
According to him, the government also made some promises to the union at a meeting held on Nov. 29 but has yet to keep them.
“The union had consistently called on all the stakeholders of the institution to intervene and resolve the pending issues in LASU during the five and a half months ASUU strike,” he said.
Idris also urged the government to review the tuition fees in the university, noting that it had become the most expensive public university in Nigeria, making it unattractive to applicants.
“The 1416 candidates who applied for the 2013/2014 Post-UTME used to be just two arms of the accounting department when the fees were N25,000.
“There is an assurance that the number of candidates short-listed for admission will drop when some of them finally know the total amount they will be paying.
“It is exorbitant for a student in the faculty of education to pay N197,000 while other departments pay N250,000 and the medical students pay N350,000.
“The founding fathers meant that education should be made available and affordable to all citizens of Nigeria especially indigenes of Lagos State but the current school fees has defeated that objective,” he said.
Idris noted that the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), LASU chapter had been on strike since Sept. 29, while the non-academic staff suspended theirs on Dec. 3. (NAN)