By Olayinka Ajayi
The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ,ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke has said the union would do everything in its power to ensure the nation’s educational system is effective.
Fielding questions on channels Television, Politics Today, Osodeke insisted that the collapse in the university system of any nation, affects all sectors of the nation.
Osodeke who disclosed that ASUU would meet with the Federal government tomorrow to renegotiate said: “What we are doing is sacrifice for this country called Nigeria. A collapse in university education, is a collapse country and we are almost there. We will not be tired to ensure that this system works.
Asked if ASUU had heard any communication from the government, Osodeke said: “Although they invited us, we have not heard any serious communication from the government. They are inviting us on the issue of renegotiation tomorrow for the 2009 agreement and we don’t know what they are coming with. The issue has to do with funding, structure, autonomy and other issues on how to raise funds to run the university.
But the government had reached us on salary alone. If they had looked at the whole content of that agreement and implemented it, they would not be talking about funding, they just want to blackmail us with funding. Every university in the world is an autonomous body, you don’t subject universities to bureaucrats that is why we are having problems today. So is about restructuring of universities in Nigeria.
“This negotiation started in 2017, they appointed Babalakin as the chairman of the committee. We spent more than two years without anything and the committee collapsed.
“What we have asked the government to do is give appropriate allocation to education. In Ghana, they give not less than 16 per cent, in South Africa they give not less than 16 per cent but Nigeria has the lowest, 7.3 per cent and we are saying give 15 per cent and that was our doom. The reality is that education is one thing you are to look at to change your country. Why our exchange went high was because of the massive amount our students are paying as school fees in foreign countries.
“Now it’s coming down because their children have paid. So is not only the university that is suffering, the whole country is suffering because of what they are doing. If our system is working like Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda, we would not be struggling for exchange rate currency to pay school fees”.