Bad governance, underfunding may crash state-owned universities soon: ASUU

*Visitors to state universities in Nigeria have turned the establishment of such universities into projects for appeasing electorate in their Senatorial and State Constituencies while neglecting the existing state universities ─Kano Zone Coordinator, Academic Staff Union of Universities

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

Describing the burning issue as a matter of urgency deserving the attention of appropriate authorities, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), in Nigeria, has urged the National Assembly (NASS) to pass the Bill to amend the National Universities Commission (NUC) Act to address the proliferation of state universities in the country.

ConsumerConnect reports Prof. Abdulkadir Muhammad, Coordinator of the Kano Zone of ASUU, stated this at a press conference held at Bayero University (BUK), Friday, September 10, 2021, in Kano, Kano State.

Prof. Muhammad, who requested passage of the bill as soon as possible, also called on the Visitors to the Nigerian Universities to live up to their responsibilities.

The academic said: “We are calling on the National Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, consider and pass the Bill.

“Due to bad governance and underfunding, our state-owned universities may soon collapse beyond redemption.

“Visitors of state universities had turned establishment of state universities into projects for appeasing electorate in their Senatorial and State Constituencies, while neglecting the existing state universities.”

Muhammad further noted: “Besides non-funding of capital projects, most state governors have also failed in the primary responsibility of regular payment of staff salaries in their universities.”

In regard to tuition in the Universities, the Kano Zone Coordinator of ASUU also said that the academic association rejected the charging of exorbitant tuition fees in the state universities.

According to him, it places university education beyond the reach of common Nigerians.

As regards the issue of University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), Prof. Muhammad stated that end-user acceptability test had been completed ,and that the union was waiting for the subsequent deployment of UTAS in the management of payroll and personnel systems of the Federal universities in the country.

The association, therefore, urged the Federal Government to sign and implement the draft ASUU/FGN renegotiated agreement of May 2021, besides the release of the first tranche of the N30billion fund for the revitalization of public universities.

“The government should also release N25billion Earned Academic Allowance.

“We also urge the Federal Government to immediately remit withheld check-off dues to the branches of the withheld and amputated salaries/allowances and third party deductions,” he added.

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