The decision of the federal government to introduce educational loans has been opposed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The union stated this in a statement signed by its President, Emmanuel Osodeke, on Monday following its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, which was held at the University of Calabar.
The union noted that the issue of education loans has been a colossal failure in Nigeria and some other nations where they have been implemented.
The union expressed concern that those in favour of the program are keen to impose it on Nigerians, even though their handling of the country’s economic fortunes has done more to drive Nigerians into poverty.
The lecturers pleaded with well-meaning Nigerians to pressure the government to release the withheld salaries of its members, adding that they view the pro-rata payment of salaries to some of its members in October as casualisation.
The ASUU leaders expressed their gratitude for the fortitude of their members and their families, assuring them that future generations would be justly recompensed for their understanding and perseverance in the face of hardship and provocation brought on by the government’s intransigence and insensitivity.
Read the full statement below:
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, which was held at the University of Calabar, reviewed the current state of our struggle and resolved as follows:
NEC observed with concern the systematic disengagement of government from the funding of Public Universities through the proposed introduction of education loans 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
The Union is disturbed by the surreptitious moves by the government to price university education beyond the reach of poor Nigerian students and their parents through the introduction of various charges. We commend student bodies who have seen through this ruinous path.
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 the government, suggestive of attempts to abrogate the principle of the collective bargaining agreement. NEC rejects the government’s arrogant insistence on handing down an award instead of a bargained salary package.
The meeting also reviewed and condemned the government’s attempt to casualise the job of intellectuals, as reflected in the pro-rated salaries paid to our members for October 2022, as well as the continued withholding of our member’s salaries for the preceding eight (8) months, even when the backlog of the work are being covered by our members in various
ASUU calls on Nigerians of goodwill to, in the interest of our students and the nation, prevail on the 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 a 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 the government’s intransigence and insensitivity shall be rewarded by posterity.
5th December 2022