By Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim (Goronyo)

 

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: I always wonder with astonishment and marbles when I hear parents and students blaming any academic union in Nigeria that embark on strike for the sake of their rights, their students and the education. The glimpse of Nigerian education in Nigeria reaches to its level we see at the present because of the academic unions, because our politicians and our bourgeoisies have little attention on Nigerian universities if not all of our schools as they send their children outside the country to study.

Visit any public primary or secondary school close to you and see its condition. Even if it is attractive on its structure you will surely find its inside very squalid and irritating with broken chairs few teaching materials and unconducive atmosphere, then visit any tertiary institution, I bet you that going round the school will make you to understand that the school is choke up and full to the brim with bunches of students but with few teachers to serve the magnanimous students. 

The struggle of academic staff of tertiary institutions are blessings to the growth of Nigerian education and if we fail to support them and appreciate them, Nigerian higher institutions will become like the ravaged primary schools close to us without enough seats for undergraduates to sit to receive lectures.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) through its struggle had supported and gotten many things for the Nigerian students. The establishment of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) resulted to the continues giants establishment of laboratory halls, theaters, libraries, Workshops, hostels and classes for undergraduates. Also the strike of ASUU has been supporting students on their struggles on tuition fees hike. ASUU never support tuition fee increment but when government propose tuition tuition fee increment the schools management, students’ Unions Government sit to agree on the appropriate percentage to be increased and always ASUU is at the side of Nigerian students and parents. 

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ASUU strike is always at the favor of Nigerian education, the lecurers fight for their rights to make education viable and standard to stop sending Nigeria children outside the country to acquire schools certificates and come back to work in lucrative organizations.

Do Nigerian students know that a graduate worker in Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) collects more than a Nigerian professor  because a professor collects less than N350, 000 and a graduate worker in NIMASA collects more than N400, 000. This variant indices in Nigerian agencies have continue to push corruption in Nigeria. And do Nigerian students want to continue seeing their lecturers living in begging condition while their schools turned to the condition of primary public schools or  will they support their lecturers living condition and their schools’ progress? 

The ASUU strike at this time is on the fault of the IPPIS and the federal government has lobbied the Nigerian Universities lecturers to join the platform despite their strong head not to join, and the government failed to continue to give them what belong to them. After suspending its almost nine month strike in 2020, ASUU embarked on its present strike because the Federal Government failed to fully implement the Memorandum of Action it signed with the union in December 2020 and for this nonchalant attitude who is at fault? 

You could remember that the Federal Government has been making promises to make the payment of the staff entitlement and the Minister of Labor even boasted that the money is kept aside in Central Bank of Nigeria to settle the Union. 

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“What was agreed last year has been paid. These are subsequent payments that are due.

That one has been paid in January February. This is the second tranche we are paying,

N22. 72 billion for this tranche. The N30 billion for revitalisation is also in the CBN account”, The Minister of Labor and Productivity made this promise when he appeared on “Politics aToday,” a political programme on Channels Television on Tuesday ((8/7/2021), but now that ASUU embarked on strike who is at fault? 

And on his statement, the National President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke stated that the strike of the Union is due to government’s lackadaisical attitudes and the lecturers had no choice but to declare the strike for them to press government to give them what belong to them and government should approve the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) to ease the payment of the lecturers. 

Nigerian students should be happy that they have vibrant comrades that are fighting for their rights and supporting their education. ASUU only wants Nigeria to be better and eradicate corruption in Nigerian universities. 

Nigerian students should be able to figure out those for them and those for theirselves. ASUU with their efforts to make education viable should be supported because there are some people who wants education to suffer and crumble, and a word is enough for the wise and a teacher is like a father and wise people say a child is born to bear the burden of his parents while a good child will never abuse his teacher.

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