The University of Ibadan Chapter Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday said that the Governing Councils of State and Federal Universities lack the capacity to negotiate funding and condition of service of public Universities with the Union.
ASUU through Ayo Akinwole, a Professor, Chairman of the University of Ibadan Chapter of the Union stated this while responding to the assertion made by the pro-chancellor of Osun State University Yusuf Alli (SAN) that it is wrong for the Federal Government of Nigeria to negotiate with ASUU and force it on those not part of the negotiations.
According to Akinwole, the statement of the Pro – chancellor and chairman of council, Osun State University, Yusuf Alli ‘ is a regurgitation of non-practicable views of some detractors of public universities in Nigeria.”
The ASUU boss stated that the statement of the Chairman of Governing Council of UNIOSUN “are words that do not take the social and economic issues of the Nigerian state into realistic consideration.”
The boss ASUU asked Yusuf Alli to walk around UNIOSUN campuses and count the number of TETFUND and NEEDS assessment infrastructural projects that have been executed to see the impact of ASUU struggles on State-owned universities.
Akinwole stated that if not for ASUU’s struggles, many Chairmen of Governing Councils who cannot bring up an initiative to develop their schools would have destroyed the remnants of public varsity education.
ASUU, therefore, asked Alli to proceed to private universities if he is interested in negotiating salaries.
“How can he say councils that cannot develop infrastructures in universities except through ASUU agitation for university revitalisation and intervention of TETFUND should be negotiating workers’ salaries?”
Akinwole said people like Yusuf Alli are far from reality and wants to further pauperise lecturers and subject them to the whims and caprices of chairmen of the council who are most often willing tools in the hands of Governors.
Part of ASUU’s demands, he pointed out, is to stop the proliferation of state universities being used as constituency projects by state Governors who cannot fund the same institutions adding that “no one can shy away from the fact that some state universities struggle to pay their staff salaries. Can those finding it difficult to pay salaries to negotiate living salaries of workers? Imagine if they are left to negotiate it.”
While advising Alli to desist from suggesting a confusing narrative on public university education in Nigeria Akinwole stated that it is cheap talk to ask lecturers to earn based on what they bring to the universities asking how many research funds the learned silk has provided for the study of law in Nigeria upon which faculty can now be rated with.
Rather, he said, Nigerian lecturers have endured the precarious conditions of service for a long time because of the blurred view of people like Mallam Yusuf Alli on how a public-funded education runs.
“Emphasis should be on the improved access and quality of university education rather than merely talking about educational policies in developed economies engendered by sustainable investment absent in Nigeria. You cannot ask academics to earn by their performance when basic infrastructures for teaching and research are not available. If you want more powers as a council chairman it is not in a public university funded by taxpayers’ money,” he said.