The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has described the Federal Government’s promises as cheap, saying its members would not be swayed by them.
ASUU President Professor Abiodun Ogunyemi said this during an interview on a Lagos-based national television programme yesterday.
“We have concluded that promises from the government are very cheap. We are not bothered about what promises the government makes now,” he said.
Ogunyemi’s comments came less than 24 hours after the union commenced an industrial action as a result of their grievances with the Federal Government.
According to ASUU, the decision to direct its members across the country to down tools on Sunday was because of poor funding of the nation’s universities.
He also decried the reduction in the budget for education in the past few years, stressing that the education sector of any nation should always be given adequate priority.
“There was an inter-ministerial retreat on education where the Minister (of Education) said for a nation to develop, it must earmark not less than 20 per cent to education. This year’s budget, we have seven percent, the previous year was seven per cent. If you go back to 2014, it was 12 per cent, 2015 was 11 percent and it came down to eight per cent in 2016. And, in the last two years, the budgetary allocation has been seven per cent.”
The University of Ilorin chapter has refused to join ASUU’s industrial action.
A visit to the university showed some students who were on campus getting set for registration; with the surroundings devoid of activities.
ASUU branch chairman, Uthman Abdul Raheem, said the institution did not join the strike as they were not officially communicated to by the union; an act he noted has been happening for years.
According to Abdulraheem, the inability to re- solve the alleged sacking of 41 lecturers by the university, years ago, was responsible for not joining the industrial action called by the national body.
Regardless, Taraba State University is yet to comply with the union’s directive.
ASUU branch Chairman of the university, Dr. Shika Samuel, revealed that they were given up to Wednesday, November 7, 2018, to hold a congress and decide whether to join or not.
Also, academic activities were paralysed at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA).
Offices and lecture rooms of the university were deserted by lecturers of the university as a result of the industrial action.
When our correspondent visited the campus of the university yesterday, some students were seen moving out of the campus with their luggages.
Also, offices of some lecturers were under lock and key, even as many of them did not show up on campus.
FUTA chairman of the ASUU branch, Dr Bola Oluya, said the union will hold its congress today and formally declare its decision to join the strike after the congress.
But the Kaduna State University (KASU) chapter said it is yet to decide whether to join the strike called by the national body.
ASUU KASU chapter chairman, Dr. Tukur Abdulkadir told Daily Sun that some critical conclusions have to be reached before the state-owned university can decide whether to join the strike or not.