The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has kicked against the proposed introduction of education loans, stating that it has proven to be a monumental failure in Nigeria and some other countries where it was introduced.
Emmanuel Osodeke, President of ASUU, made this known in a statement he signed, after the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the University of Calabar on Monday.
The lecturers also appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the government to release the withheld salaries of its members, adding that they view as casualisation, the payment of salaries to some of its members in the month of October based on pro-rata.
The statement reads; The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, which held at the University of Calabar, reviewed the current state of our struggle and resolved as follows:
1. NEC observed with concern the systematic disengagement of government from funding of Public Universities through the proposed introduction of education loan which has proven to be a monumental failure in our nation and some other countries where it was introduced. We find it troubling that the proponents of the policy are so eager to foist it down the throat of Nigerians when they have done more to push the working people of this country into poverty through sheer incompetence in handling the economic fortunes of our
2. The Union is disturbed by the surreptitious moves by the government to price university education beyond the reach of the poor Nigerian students and their parents through the introduction of various charges. We commend student bodies who have seen through this ruinous path and are rising up to the
3. The Union calls the attention of Nigerians to the lingering issue of renegotiation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement which was the initial issue that led to the just suspended strike More worrisome is the increasing anti-labour posture of government, suggestive of attempts to abrogate the principle of collective bargaining agreement. NEC rejects in totality government’s arrogant insistence on handling down an award instead of a bargained salary package.
4. The meeting also reviewed and condemned government’s attempt to casualize the job of intellectuals, as reflected in the pro-rated salaries paid to our members for the month of October 2022, as well as the continued withholding of our members salaries for the preceding eight (8) months, even when the backlog of the work are being covered by our members in various
5. ASUU calls on Nigerians of goodwill to, in the interest of our students and the nation, prevail on Nigerian government to urgently address all outstanding issues contained in the December 2020 FGN-ASUU Memorandum of NEC rejects with vehemence, the current attempts to impose master-slave treatment as mechanism for relating with Nigerian scholars under whatever guise by the ruling class. ASUU members are citizens, not slaves.
Finally, NEC appreciates the resilience of our members and their families. Their understanding and perseverance, in the face of hardship and provocation occasioned by government’s intransigence and insensitivity, shall be rewarded by posterity.