By Emmanuel Gandu
The Nigerian Labour Congress NLC on Tuesday embarked on a two-day coalition nationwide protest in solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other affiliate Non-Academic unions in the University system over the lingering 5 months of industrial action in public universities in Nigeria.
Why Nigerians are behind ASUU
(1) Universities in Nigeria have always been on strike for a better part of every year since before 2009 while the Federal government looks the other way.
(2) Federal government and ASUU jointly signed an agreement to grant ASUU their demands in 2009 but the federal government has reneged by not fulfilling its own promises.
(3) It is a known fact that education is the key to any meaningful development.
(4) About 40 federal government Universities, plus about 36 state Universities are involved in these unending strikes. You can imagine the future of Nigeria being held down.
(5) If Nigeria with 4 refineries, the 7th biggest oil producer in the world will import petrol, and budget # 5 trillion Naira in the 2022 budget alone for fuel subsidy, why can’t they fund Universities?
(6) If the Federal government spends #144 billion Naira per year for junior Primary school feeding alone which is a scam to Nigerians, why are they not thinking of university teaching and learning infrastructure?
(7) Nigerian politicians send their children abroad to acquire education, while they abandon the children of the poor in Nigeria.
See attached photos of some of them at their children’s graduation in foreign countries.
What is ASUU Demanding?
(1) Funding for the revitalization of public Universities.
(2) Payment of outstanding earned Academic allowances.
(3) 26% budgetary allocation to the education sector in line with United Nations standards.
(4) Implementation of University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) in place of IPPIS for payment of salary and allowances that could be peculiar to a university system.
(5) A peculiar Pension matters for university staff.
(6) Constitution of visitation panels for universities.
(7) And others.
Comparative analysis of education budgetary funding, allocation (%) in some African countries
(1) Rwanda – 26%
(2) Ghana – 16%
(3) Namibia – 9.41%
(4) Sierra Leone – 9.26%
(5) South Africa – 6.84%
(6) Kenya – 5.08%
(7) Nigeria – 5.4%