The Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU) says parents should not be persuaded that the union demands too much over the prolonged industrial action of academic staff.
The body noted that parents should note that if the ASUU struggle fails, “they will pay through their nose to send their children to university.
The coordinator of the Lagos zone of ASUU, Prof. Olusiji Sowande said this while addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting of members of the union at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun state.
The meeting was attended by the Chairman, ASUU-OOU, Dr. Joel Okewale, Chairman, ASUU-FUNAAB, Dr Adebayo Oni and Chairman, ASUU-UNILAG, Dr Dele Ashiru, among others.
He vowed that the union would not succumb to the Federal government’s pressure to call off its ongoing strike.
Sowande said Federal government has resorted to blackmail, intimidation and propagation of falsehood to the public instead of making sincere effort at resolving the lingering crisis.
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He equally said the union embarked on the strike to ensure the survival of public universities in Nigeria and sustenance of university autonomy and not for personal interest.
He said, “Government does not see Education of its citizens as public good but rather unfortunately, as a business.
“While government is committed to using public funds to bail out banks, electricity distribution companies, and airline operators, which are their private investments, the excuse of unavailability of fund for revitalization of our public universities is not acceptable to our Union.
“Parents and students should not be persuaded that ASUU is asking for too much money for the survival of public universities.
“Parents should please note that, if our struggle fails, they will pay through their nose to send their children to university, that is, if many students will not drop out of school”.
Sowande said the union’s grouse with the government bothered on government’s reluctance to fulfil the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement bothering on provision of funds for revitalisation of dilapidating infrastructure, payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), setting up of Visitation Panels for the purpose of accountability and good governance of our public Universities, arresting the trend of proliferation of Universities at both Federal and State levels while neglecting the funding of existing ones and the renegotiation of 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement.
The union insisted that the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) by the Federal government violates the autonomy of universities and is targeted at crippling university education in Nigeria.
Sowande explained that the union rejected IPPIS because the appointment of Vice chancellors and lectures would be subjected to the approval of the Accountant-General of the Federal and the Head of Service of Federation.
He described the claim by the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, that 57,000 out of 71,700 lecturers are already on IPPIS as the “highest level of falsehood from an office that should be respected for propagation of truth”.