The Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, has said the government should do all it can to end the ongoing industrial action embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
It’s no news that the Academic Staff Union of Universities has been on strike for almost six months now. The union embarked on strike over the federal government’s failure to fulfill its demands.
Recently, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, on Channels Television, said the government doesn’t have the money to meet the demands of the union and they would not go into borrowing.
This comment by the minister didn’t go down well for Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU). Its chairman Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo, while speaking in an interview, explained that the demands of the striking academic staff were not for the union but for the revitalization of the Universities.
Edoumiekumo said that the disheartening statement by Kayemo implies that the government doesn’t have money to fund its own universities.
“This issue of saying we don’t have money to put into the university system shouldn’t be. It is like the NEEDS assessment fund, it was not given to ASUU, it was given to the universities.
“When they say we do not have funds, what they’re saying is that ‘these universities are our own but we do not have money to give. We don’t have money to pay for overhead to run the universities…’” he said partly.
The committee chairman also expressed concerns over the long closure of varsities. He called on both parties to resolve the crisis and reopen universities for the sake of the students.
He said “We’re not happy that universities have been closed for this much time. It has been close to five months now. It affects the operations, and it disrupts the academic calendar, which has a negative effect on the operations of respective universities…”
“We’re pleading with the government to look at the plight of students and lecturers in Nigerian universities to resolve the issue.. ” he added partly.