The Academic Staff Union of Universities has urged the Federal Government to act in a responsible way to save the country’s university education system from total collapse.
According to ASUU, universities in Togo, Ghana, Benin, Uganda and other African countries now fare better than Nigeria’s universities.
The Chairman, ASUU, Federal University, Otuoke, Socrates Ebo, said this on Wednesday in a statement titled, ‘Government should act responsibly and save tertiary education’.
He lampooned the Federal Government for refusing to abide by the agreement it signed with the union in 2009, saying universities in smaller African countries had become far better than Nigerian universities.
Ebo said the Federal University, Otuoke, chapter of the union at its congress on Tuesday, condemned the government’s reckless foot-dragging to comprehensively address the crisis in the nation’s tertiary education system.
He stated that the congress resolved to stay away from the classrooms throughout the eight weeks extension of the ongoing nationwide strike declared by ASUU.
The statement read in part, “It is with sadness that we view the unfolding but highly avoidable crisis in the tertiary education sector in the country and a dishonourable refusal of the government to abide by the agreement it reached with ASUU to salvage the university education system in the country.
“It is a shame that the government has stayed aloof to watch our tertiary education system nosedive in standards from world-class in the 1960s and early 1970s to the nondescript sorry situation that our public universities have been reduced to the point that universities in Togo, Ghana, Benin, Uganda and almost everywhere in Africa now fare better than our universities.
Nigeria is the indisputable giant of Africa in terms of human and material resources. Alas, we cannot place a single Nigerian university on the global map of world-class universities, a feat that smaller African countries have achieved.
“We must keep in perspective that the government has chosen a highly ineffective payment platform riddled with fraud and irregularities over a home-grown technology, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, developed by the best brains in the country.
“How can a government that mouths the mantra of anti-corruption prefers a leaky payment platform to the one that is corruption-proof? Is there something the government is hiding from the public?
“The fact that the government is willing to tell lies against UTAS and even commit plagiarism just to tarnish UTAS, speaks volumes.