FG INSINCERE -ASUU
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused the Federal Government of insincerity in the implementation of the agreement signed with the union. The Benin zone of the union comprising of the Niger Delta University (NDU), Delta State University, Ambrose Ali University (AAU), Ekpoma, and Federal University of Petroleum (FUPRE) rose from a meeting in Bayelsa and called on the National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU to call an emergency meeting to discuss the issue, adding that it was germane to the continued stability in the education programmes in federal universities.
In a communiquÃ© signed after its meeting by the Chairmen of the union in the zone and the zonal coordinator, Dr. Sunday Ighalo, it drew the attention of parents of students in the Nigerian universities to the non-implementation of some aspects of the ASUU/FGN agreement as it relate to the amendment of the present Pension Act.
According to it, the amendment, which should have accommodated academics in the professorial cadre to retire at the age of 70 years had surprisingly being jettisoned by the government. It lamented that the impression that both chambers of the National Assembly had passed the amendment of the Pension Bill into law was a ruse as what was passed covered only academics in the college of education and polytechnics.
While appealing to parents and other stakeholders to prevail on the Federal Government to respect the agreement it willingly entered into with the union, it warned that the Federal Government should be held responsible for any eventual industrial action by the union over non-implementation of the agreement.
In an interview, Ighalo said the reason they called on NEC to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the matter was to ensure appropriate decisions were taken on the matter before it gets out of hand.
Ighalo, who berated the Federal Government for establishing more universities when it had not provided adequate funding for the existing ones, noted that resources to cater for the universities were there but government prefers to waste money.
He said: 'Funding has been a perennial problem in our universities. We have been in the fore front to correct the problems. Rather to address the decay in existing universities, the government established nine new universities to satisfy political interests. Government has not been sincere with tackling the problems of poor universities. The only thing they can do to stop the problem is to fund the universities. The resources to do that is available but they prefer to waste money.'