Politics

Govt officers funding non-public varsities with taxpayers’ cash, ASUU alleges

The Zonal Coordinator of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Calabar zone, Dr Happiness Uduk, has expressed disappointment that authorities officers are destroying public universities within the nation and stealing taxpayers’ cash to fund their non-public universities.

This is as she threatened that the union would embark on one other industrial motion inside two weeks if the Federal Government didn’t honour its 2009 renegotiated settlement with the union.

Speaking whereas addressing a protest rally organised by the University of Uyo department of ASUU, Uduk, a senior lecturer within the Department of English on the University of Uyo, alleged that authorities officers had destroyed public major and secondary colleges and now bent on destroying public universities.

“Enough is sufficient! the federal government will not be caring for public establishments but they’re now establishing their very own non-public universities the place they’re taking our assets and our taxpayers’ cash too.

“What the federal authorities desires is to destroy public universities as they did to public major and secondary colleges.

“The Federal Government has about two weeks to do one thing, and if not, ASUU will down instruments. That is what we need to inform folks: It will not be nicely with us. The authorities has not handled us nicely, and to say the least, we’re very hungry. Whatever we’re getting will not be taking us residence.

“We are requesting the government to pay us what they owe us, we are calling on the government to make the university system functional. We are asking the government to pay us our EAA, they should cater for universities they brought and not bring up more universities without taking care of them,” she stated.

Earlier, whereas addressing the protesters who displayed placards and chanted solidarity songs, the Chairperson of ASUU, Prof. Opeyemi Olajide, recalled that in 2022, Public Universities launched into an eight-month strike over the difficulty and needed to come again to lecture rooms in obedience to the rule of regulation regretting that two years after; the Federal Government had but to honour the settlement and attend to their calls for.

He defined that the union reached out to related authorities to intervene and make the federal government do the needful to avert any disruption to educational actions, however there was no optimistic consequence, stressing that if after two weeks nothing was completed, the union would shut down the schools and ship the scholars residence.

He stated, “In 2022, ASUU was on strike for eight months. Public universities in Nigeria had been shut down, and college students had been despatched residence as a result of the federal authorities of Nigeria refused to handle ASUU calls for as contained within the renegotiated 2009 settlement that Academic Staff Unions of Nigerian Universities had with them.

“ASUU suspended the strike as a result of our union may be very civil, law-abiding, and respects the rule of regulation. This is 2 years after the Federal Government has refused to signal that settlement with our union.

“We are telling the government and the public that if in the next two  weeks, nothing is done, ASUU is going to embark on yet another strike and students will be sent home.”

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For his half, the previous Zonal Coordinator, ASUU, Prof. Aniekan Brown, stated the union had been clamouring for “education for all” over time.

He famous that lecturers’ workloads should not commensurate with their pay and known as for an increment in wage.

Brown lamented that regardless of the meagre and static salaries, the speed of taxation by the FG was insufferable, as a lecturer pays as much as 90 per cent of his/her wage as tax.

In his phrases, “It’s fairly unhappy that some lecturers have as much as 48 credit score masses per week, they train on Saturdays, and but their take-home pay won’t take them residence. I need to say that one can’t work on an empty abdomen.

“The final time one thing was added to our salaries was in 2009, and as a Christian, just one Being is identical yesterday, right now, and ceaselessly, which is Almighty God, however the Federal Government is compelling our salaries to compete with God, and as a Christian, I stand in opposition to that.

“The union is prepared to make sure that the general public college system will get again operating, it’s left for the federal government to do the needful. Students attend lectures in a room that was meant for 50 individuals being occupied by 200 to 250 college students with no public deal with system.

“The lecturers will scream their hearts out to affect data, but politicians’ kids are going to highschool overseas; you see them contributing cash to already developed universities overseas, and they’ll flip blind eyes right here; we’ll rise as one folks to compel them to start out taking their duties.

“Let me additionally observe that our taxes are excruciating, a lecturer who is supposed to obtain Two Hundred Thousand Naira as wage will find yourself going residence with N110,000 as N90,000 will go in as tax.

“You’ll see lecturers jumping from one bus to another, living uncomfortable lives, how can we impact knowledge successfully in this scenario? These people giving us this kind of tax evade tax, they subjected us to IPPIS and they are not in IPPIS.”

Also talking, Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Akwa Ibom State University Chapter, Dr Inyang Udosen, stated the union joined the protest in solidarity with the University of Uyo and different public universities.

He identified some challenges bedevilling the State University, whilst he known as on the Akwa Ibom State authorities to extend wages to fulfill the present financial realities.

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