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ASUU Says “Nigeria Is Fast Assuming The Status Of A Failed State”



ASUU Says “Nigeria Is Fast Assuming The Status Of A Failed State”

By Daniel Dafe

Zonal Coordinator, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Benin Zone, Professor Monday Igbafen, has said that “Nigeria is fast assuming the status of a failed state as evident in crises in education, security and other critical sectors of the country”.

Prof. Igbafen who spoke to journalists on Wednesday in Delta State University, DELSU, Abraka, added that “the debilitating and suffocating impact of neo-liberal policies of government at both the Federal and State levels have undoubtedly undermined public good and other good things of life in the country, including the welfare of academics”.

He continued: “As a result, not only is education in the doldrums, academics in Nigeria have become the endangered species in Nigeria’s existential space”.

The university don spoke after after inaugurating an eight-man ASUU executive in DELSU led by Dr. Paul Opone, a Senior Lecturer in the University’s Department of History and International Studies.

Continuing, Professor Igbafen stated that ASUU is “irked by the obvious lack of sincerity on the part of Federal and State Governments to address critical issues which have worsened the living and working conditions of academic staff in the public universities”.

He also wondered at Government’s failure to conclude the re-negotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement which commenced in 2017.

“It is disturbing to note that the reviewed agreement with the Briggs-led government team has remained in its draft form from 2021 till date and the most obvious implication of this is that university teachers in Nigeria have been on the same salary regime since 2009 when the value of Naira to a dollar was N120,” he said.

Adding: “It is better imagined to note that what a professor at bar earns in today’s Nigeria is about $400 per month which is a scandalous under-valuation of the scholars,” saying “the Union and its members have endured enough and there is no long story on this anymore.”

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According to him, “the Union believes that the satisfactory and conclusive re-negotiation of the Agreement and its successful implementation is the desirable recipe for the worsening living and working conditions of staff, the pandemic problem of underfunding and other challenges of University governance in the country”.

Thus, ASUU-Benin called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu “to immediately set in motion the process leading to the review and signing of the Nimi Briggs-led renegotiated draft agreement as a mark of seriousness and assured hope for Nigerian academics and Nigeria’s public universities”.

“Any further delay on this path is an invitation to crisis”, the ASUU, Benin Zone warned.

The Union frowned at the lingering problem of withheld salaries in Federal and some State Universities and urged the Federal Government and Visitors to State Universities “to as a matter of urgency, pay up all withheld salaries of members without further delay”.

ASUU also frowned at the proliferation of universities at federal and state levels, absence of governing councils in federal and some state universities and the underfunding of universities.


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