Chairman of the Academic StaffUnion of Universities (ASUU), University of Ilorin branch, Professor Abdul Wahab Egbewole, has said unionism has gone beyond making threats but is now an avenue for making positive marks within the university system.
Egbewole stated this in Ilorin during the foundation laying ceremony of a N20 million ultra-modern female hostel project funded by the leadership of ASUU in the university.
In a veiled reference to the perennial strikes embarked upon by ASUU which Unilorin chapter has shunned for over adecade, the former Dean, Faculty of Law of the university said, “The union felt that the current situation of unionism is beyond banging of table but rather it is now for positive development in order to add value to the socio-economic growth of the society.”
University lecturers nationwide have been on strike with the exception of Unilorin.
According to Egbewole, the union decided to construct a hostel to assist incoming female students who face accommodation challenges.
He said proceeds from the hostel would be used to take care of members’ welfare.
Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, commended the unionfor the initiative and its members for being progressive and development-oriented.
Ambali said it is not enough for trade unions to concentrate on identifying loop holes, saying they should also endeavour to be part of problem solving as critical stakeholders in the education sector.
He noted that ASUU members at the University of Ilorin do not normally go on strike because they explore alternative ways of solving problems through dialogue, adding that this dialogue formula is working well in the university and the university was willing to share it with other universities if approached.
He said it was commendable that the staff union does not pursue only its members’ welfare but also that of the students.
Ambali said: “You have shown that ASUU is not only interested in what it can get but what it also gives. This should be an example to other staff unions.”
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