BY PETER DURU, Makurdi
The Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU, has expressed utter disappointment in the attitude of the Federal Government towards the full implementation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement.
The Abuja Zone of ASUU comprising University of Abuja, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Federal University of Makurdi, Kogi State University, Nasarawa State University as well as the Ibrahim Badamosi University, Lappai expressed this displeasure at the weekend during a press conference at the end of its two day meeting held at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
The Zonal Coordinator, Dr. Abu Mallam who lamented the lukewarm manner at which the Federal Government is handling the issues, also decried the high level of insincerity on the part of government in funding university system in the country.
He recalled that ASUU had embarked on one week warning strike which was later called off following several appeals from Government and well meaning individuals for amicable solution to the lingering problems of the nation’s university, noting that FG had pleaded with ASUU to grant her two months within which appreciable efforts will be made towards implementation of the agreement.
Dr. Mallam regretted that the agreement which amongst other things provides for funding and earned allowances for ASUU, amendment of 70 years retirement age, pension and NUC Laws is yet to be considered by Federal Government
“The agreement provides that all Federal Universities in the country shall be provided with a total of N1.5 trillion within a period of three years 2009-2011 to enable them upgrade the existing facilities and expand in order to meet up with contemporary requirements”.
“In addition, each State Government with a university shall provide N3.68 million per student for the same period. But it is disheartening to that our governments at all level have not shown any commitment towards achieving the above aspect of this agreement”, the zonal coordinator lamented.
He also frowned at the arbitrary manner the FG dissolved Governing Councils of Federal Universities without adherence to due process and called for an immediate reversal of the dissolution.
On the nagging issue of post University Tertiary Examination, UTME, Dr. Mallam threw his support behind it, argued that it is duty of the Universities to set standards for students and not JAMB.
He accused JAMB of instead exploiting students in the conduct of her exams, stating that the body is well funded by Government and so should not even charge students’ fees in conducting exams.
“UTME is desirable. Government should fund it just as they fund JAMB heavily”, he opined.