One way the federal government can end the impasse with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is to use N1 trillion of recovered loot to satisfy the financial component of the demands of the University lecturers.
The proposal from the University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association was articulated by its national president, Chief Chris Adokeme, in a statement, in which he added that the annual requirement of 200 billion naira for five years consecutively was too meagre to allow University education in the country to be under lock and key.
Said he, “How can universities in the country remain shut, when all that is required is a mere 200 billion naira annually? That is far less than what goes into the National Assembly for a year. I will prefer the legislature to be shut for one year instead of our universities.”
The Alumni President suggested that in the alternative, all revenue accruing from the sea and airports, should be channelled into the funding of University education in the country.
He noted that the country can ill afford to have the gates of our universities shut over a prolonged period of time, adding that the consequences are too dire to contemplate.
Adokeme also called for adequate funding for TETFUND to enable it effectively discharge it’s obligations to the universities. He said with a proper academic and infrastructural foundation, Nigerian universities will be in a position to compete with the best globally.
He commended academic staff of universities in the country for living above board, despite the less than average conditions under which they operate.
Universities in Nigeria have remained shut following a strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU. The lecturers are complaining over the inability of the Federal government to implement the memorandum of understanding reached between the two parties.
Other unions in the University system, including the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU, have threatened to join the strike if the issue continues to linger.