‘FG killing ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor in Nige­ria’

The Punch - - HIGHER EDUCATION - Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan

The Aca­demic Staff Union of Uni­ver­si­ties has said that the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor is fac­ing se­ri­ous chal­lenges under the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari.

The Chair­man of ASUU, Univer­sity of Ibadan chap­ter, Dr Deji Omole, said this on Mon­day.

Omole noted that fail­ure on the part of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to vote enough fund for ed­u­ca­tion had put the sec­tor in a pre­car­i­ous po­si­tion. he said the sit­u­a­tion had also led to a cri­sis of con­fronta­tion be­tween univer­sity au­thor­i­ties and stu­dents in some parts of the coun­try.

He said, “It will be dif­fi­cult to have a cit­i­zen that will love this coun­try in the fu­ture, if the cur­rent trend of aban­don­ing the poor while tak­ing care of the rich con­tin­ues.

“While each se­na­tor is paid N13.5m as run­ning costs per month, the same Sen­ate ap­pro­pri­ated a pal­try sum of N66m for cap­i­tal projects for the Univer­sity of Ibadan, which has a stu­dent pop­u­la­tion of about 30,000. This can only hap­pen in a coun­try where the rul­ing class lacks vi­sion like Nige­ria.

“The same gov­ern­ment re­fuses to drop a kobo for the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties. Now many chil­dren of the masses are de­nied ac­cess be­cause uni­ver­si­ties can­not ad­mit be­yond what the di­lap­i­dated in­fras­truc­ture can take. Yet their par­ents can­not af­ford pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties. The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment owes about N800bn re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion funds to pub­lic var­si­ties as con­tained in the agree­ments with ASUU.”

The UI ASUU chair­man warned that the union would strongly op­pose the FG’S plan to force chil­dren of the masses out of school be­cause of un­war­ranted dues charged by uni­ver­si­ties to main­tain their fa­cil­i­ties.

“The United States, which all elite turn to for the fund­ing of their pub­lic, knows the neg­a­tive im­pli­ca­tion of hav­ing a grow­ing pool of il­lit­er­ates as we have in Nige­ria. Buhari gov­ern­ment has paid lip ser­vice to pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion but prefers to pacify mil­i­tants and ter­ror­ists,” he added.

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