The Academic Staff Union of Universities has kicked against the initiation of new bills for the creation of new universities in Nigeria.
ASUU wondered why the government would push for the creation of new universities while ignoring the existing ones currently in dilapidated states.
Saturday PUNCH reports that the National Universities Commission, the regulatory body of universities in Nigeria, puts the total number of federal universities at 49; state-owned universities, 55, and private-owned universities, 99.
Though the NUC had earlier argued that the number of universities and lecturers in the country might not be enough to cater for the academic needs of Nigerians, ASUU told the government to focus on fixing the existing universities and the entire university system.
An analysis conducted by our correspondent, however, revealed that since the ninth National Assembly came into power in 2019, no fewer than 186 bills had been initiated for the establishment of new universities.
In 2019 for instance, a total of 48 bills were initiated for the creation of new universities; there was a drop in 2020 when only 43 bills for new universities were pushed. Further analysis of total bills passed in 2021, however, revealed that no fewer than 80 bills were pushed for the establishment of new universities.
15 bills initiated in 2022
Notable among the bills are the bill for the establishment of Federal University of Tourism, Wamba 2021; Federal University of Entrepreneurship Onitsha, 2022; Federal University of Transport, Daura 2021; University of Broadcast and Film studies, Jos; Nigerian Police University of Information and Technology, Abeokuta among others.
In an interview with Saturday PUNCH, ASUU National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, wondered why the government would abandon existing universities and lecturers while focusing on new establishments.
“These are some of the things we are fighting for. When you go to Nigerian universities, you see dilapidated buildings; lecturers are not even being treated well. Why create new universities when you cannot even take care of the existing ones?
Reacting to the statistics of the NUC about the number of lecturers available in Nigerian universities, Osodeke said, “We do not have up to 100,000 lecturers in Nigerian universities, there is brain drain.
“Lecturers are leaving because of unfair treatment and they will continue to leave until the government does the right thing by making sure that adequate funds are released into the university system.”
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ASUU to hold emergency meeting tomorrow over suspension of strike
ABUJA-THE striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, will convene emergency National Executive Council, NEC meeting on Thursday, to review recent developments, especially the positive response from the federal government to its demands.
Preparatory to the meeting expected to take place at its headquarters in Abuja,the union has directed its zonal branches to collate the views of members through vote during the meetings expected to hold tomorrow in its various zones across the country.
The outcome of the meeting would result in suspension of the strike on late Thursday or Friday morning.
This came as report had emerge in the social media space earlier on Tuesday, claiming that the union had called off the almost 8-month old strike and subsequently directed members to resume academic activities on October 17.
ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, while responding to enquiry to that effect, dismissed the report, saying the strike was yet to be suspended.
He, however,said the union was working towards the suspension of the action, saying the action would be dependent on the views of members from the zonal meetings.
The latest action of the lecturers’union came following the intervention of the Speaker of the House of Representatives,Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
The Speaker had on Monday,after a meeting with ASUU president and other members,assured that the strike would be suspended very soon, saying his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari over the union’s action was fruitful.
Earlier,human rights lawyer and counsel to ASUU,Femi Falana,SAN, had also said the union would soon call off its nearly eight-month old strike.
We’re hopeful of end to strike in few days, says ASUU
PRESIDENT of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Emmanuel Osodeke, said yesterday the union was optimistic of ending its strike soon, noting that for the first time, there is light at the end of the tunnel
It will be recalled that the Appeal Court had last Friday, ordered the union to ask its members to return to work within, after it (union) appealed an early order by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN, to resume.
Osodeke, spoke yesterday at a meeting with the leadership of the House of Representatives, whose speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, and his team recently intervened in the disadreement between the federal government and the union on the strike which had been on for eight months.
He said: “Please, let all of us work together to put a beautiful end to this thing we have started, so that every Nigerian will be proud that we have universities we can be proud of.
“Once again, I want to thank you, I also extend our appreciation to the president for intervening, I want to appeal that in the future, we should not allow strike to linger. Strike should not go beyond two days.
“If the way the National Assembly has intervened, if we had done that long ago, or those in charge of labour and education had done exactly this, we would not be where we are today. We would not have stayed more than two or three weeks on this strike. There is strike all over the world, UK, US, all over, but they don’t allow it to last.
“So, once again, thank you very much and we hope that working together, in the next few days, we can put an end to this particular imbroglio in the Nigerian educational system.”
The meeting was called at the instance of the speaker to brief the union about the intervention of the House with President Muhammadu Buhari on the strike.
UNILAG appoints new bursar
The Governing Council of the University of Lagos has appointed Mrs Oluwafunmilayo Adekunle as the new Bursar of the university.
Adekunle’s five-year tenure as the bursar of the institution will commence from Thursday, November 3, 2022.
This is contained in a statement released by the Communication Unit of UNILAG on Thursday.
The statement read, “The Governing Council of the University of Lagos, at its meeting on Thursday, October 6, 2022, approved the appointment of Mrs. Oluwafunmilayo Yetunde Adekunle as the new Bursar of the University.
“Her tenure is for five (5) years with effect from Thursday, November 3, 2022.
“Mrs. Adekunle until her appointment was Deputy Bursar, Treasury. She joined the services of the University in 2005.
“She holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Accounting from the University of Lagos. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
“Mrs. Oluwafunmilayo Yetunde Adekunle takes over from the current Bursar, Dr. Lekan Lawal, whose tenure ends on Wednesday, November 2, 2022.”
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