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public universities in Nigeria may colapse this year ----- ASUU

 The Academic Staff Union of Universities in Nigeria ( ASUU ) has said that there are signs that public universities in Nigeria may colapse this year following the crisis currently ravaging the nation's education sector .


The union also made it categorically clear that if urgent steps were not taken to ameliorate the situation , the nation's education secctor maybe damaged beyond repair .

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the reporter in Awka , chairperson of ASUU Nnamdi Azikiwe University branch Prof.Dennis Aribodor said that ASUU was no longer comfortable with federal government's  complacent attitude over it demands . Aribodor recalled that last year the union embarked on a one-week warning strike to draw government's attention to the fact that it is failing grossly in implementing the 2009 and 2013 memorandum of understanding it reached with ASUU .

According to him , the national executive council of ASUU recently gave mandate to its principal officers to report the position of the union on the 8 items in contention . Although he said that there seems to be a resolution on 5 items which according to him include Nigerian Universities Pension Company Registration , Release of Funds for Needs Assessment , Re-negotiation of the 2009 ASUU / FG agreement amongst others ; but according to him the federal government has failed to attend to 3 items viz Earned-Academic Allowances , Treasury Single Acount as well as Staff Schools .

Aribodor further revealed that it is hoped that the shortfalls in staff salaries will be addressed adding that Nnamdi Azikiwe University has not received December 2016 salary . He said that the budget already presented to the national assembly revealed that education has about 5% slot , which he saw as a reduction of 3% from the 8% of 2016 budget as well as a reduction of about 6% from 11% of 2015 budget and a reduction of 7% from 12% of 2014 budget even though UNESCO standard stipulates 26% for countries like Nigeria .

The ASUU NAU chairperson maintained that from the foregoing , there are signs that there maybe crisis in the nation's education system because the budget for the education sector according to him can not settle the arrears owed public universities in Nigeria interms of needs assessment intervention funds estimated at 800 billion naira this year . He expressed worry that inspite of myraid of problems facing the nation's education sector , government still budgeted 50 billion naira for capital expenditure aside 381 billion naira for sundry issues for the entire education sector .

' there are signs that there maybe problem but we hope that the senate and house of reps will come together and atleast accord 15% to the education sector in line with APC manifesto ' Aribodor stated .

Another salient issue he pointed out that would strenghten the university system in Nigeria was to amend the JAMB Act in such away that it would allow universities to determine their students not JAMB in accordance with global practice . He said JAMB was almost the almighty admission officer for universities thereby stifling competitiveness amongst universities stressing that the exclusive right given to JAMB by the senate to determine admission processes poses serious danger to the university system in Nigeria and that ASUU was also working closely with the national assembly to ensure that the bill did not see the light of the day as it will further diminish the university system .
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