The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has condemned the plan of the Federal Government to increase tuition fees in Public varsities.
Making this condemnation is the Ibadan Zone chapter of ASUU while addressing newsmen at the Correspondent’s Chapel Office, Mokola, alleging that the government has concluded arrangement to increase the tuition of fee of public universities between N350, 000 to N500, 000 per session.
Speaking, ASUU Zonal Coordinator, Dr Ade Adejumo, in the company of the ASUU Chapters’ Chairmen of the Universities of Ibadan, UI and Osun, UNIOSUN, Dr Deji Omole and, Dr Femi Abanikanda respectively and UI Investment Secretary, Professor Ayo Akinwole, pointed out that the recommendation of Dr Wale Babalakin-led committee which has recommended the hike in school fees would be highly resisted.
Calling on the Nigerians to join in the struggle against the hike and to force the federal government to do the needful to public education, Adejumo said that ASUU would not support the plan of the federal government to establish education bank meant to provide loan for students of public universities.
Adejumo warned that unless the federal government was prevailed upon to honour the Memorandum of Understanding, MOU it signed with the Union in 2017, it could not guarantee industrial peace and harmony on university campuses.
According to the Union, the issues in the MOU that might lead to another strike included collapse of the renegotiation of 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, non-release of over two trillion naira meant for the revitalization of decayed infrastructure in public varsities, 2014-2018; failure to release the forensic audit on the disbursement of Earned Academic Allowances covering 2009 to 2017; failure to pay arrears of shortfall in accrued salaries in Universities that have been verified under PICA, failure to release operational license of NUPEMCO, and needless proliferation of State Universities.
While noting the dire situation in public varsities, ASUU said instead of the Muhammadu Buhari led-government to inject funds into funding Universities, its agents were busy propagating propaganda that it had released N20 billion to ASUU when in actual fact funds were released to University management.
ASUU said it was laughable that a shameless government could be happy releasing N20 billion to about 64 public varsities in the country, wondering how insignificant this could be.
“Government has always agreed that the condition in the Nigerian universities is in a serious state that needs urgent intervention. As a result, government agreed to pay a quarterly intervention 20 Billion into a dedicated account at the CBN to pilot the revitalization scheme. Unexpectedly, the government has refused to pay the said amount which has now accrued to about N2 trillion. Instead of releasing the fund that will address the infrastructural deficit in Nigerian Universities as agreed, the government went to the media last week that it has given N20 billion to ASUU! This propaganda of government is unhelpful as ASUU is a union and does not collect money from the government,” ASUU said.