Information getting to us has it that, The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Thursday, said there was no going back on its demand for full implementation of the 2009 agreement signed with the Federal Government.
The union said no renegotiation can take place if the agreement signed was not been implemented.
The National Treasurer of ASUU, Dr Ademola Aremu and the University of Ibadan chairman of the union, Dr Olusegun Ajiboye, said this at a symposium organised by the union at Paul Hendrickse Hall of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, venue of the symposium entitled: “Education, Research and Development in Nigeria”.
The union rubbished the claim by the Federal Government that the demands of ASUU could not be met because there saying no sufficient fundwas the government was full of deceit and insincere.
Unlike many other African countries that vote significantly for education funding on annual basis, the union members said Nigeria votes the least budget to education, while siphoning huge sums to irrelevant projects that do not encourage research and development.
In her contribution, Professor Millicent Obajimi, former chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, lamented that 10.5 million children in Nigeriaare out of school.
According to ASUU, it is disheartening that local government councillors earn even more than professors, just as Nigerian legislators receive salaries that triple those of the professors who trained them in schools.
They stressed that the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government was unshaken and uncompomisable, claiming that many of the Nigerian leaders wanted public education dead, the reason they have been establishing well equipped private universities at the expense of the poor masses of this country.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, was not spared as he was accused of complicity with the Federal Government to continue to underfund university education.
“If no Nigerian University is among the first 3,000 in the world, and UNESCO report had it that about 47 per cent of Nigerian children are out of school, then the struggle by ASUU to revamp the education standard is imperative becausewithout knowledge and research, no nation can develop,” the symposiasts insisted.
While Nigerian legislators earnover N100million annually, university lecturers, professors earn less than N3million. In spite of this, while Ghana budgets 31per cent to education and Uganda 27 per cent, Nigeria budgets 8.5per cent to its education sector, a situation considered appalling.
The union members, therefore,insisted that the ongoing strike would not be called off unless their demands to properly fund eduction in the country were fully met.
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