Time To Kill ASUU Before It Kills Our Education System

By Tunde Salihu

CAVEAT EMPTOR:  This is not about love/hate of PMB or his government but my personal opinion about ASUU strikes irrespective of who is in government.

ASUU in my opinion has outlived its usefulness. I believe this current ASUU strike will end in the signing of agreements that’ll lead to another strike. Simple!

Three major issues are being canvassed all of which surround the government’s failure to meet previous agreements procured under duress. 

The issues are: 

1.) Better facilities

2.) Payroll system 

3.) Welfare.

TETFUND and a number of other initiatives are already handling number 1 and short of closing down development in other sectors, very little can be added with the state of our economy.  

The Payroll system is the most annoying to me because I see a case where the employee wants to determine the system the employer must USE to pay him. Can we make such ridiculous requests in the private sector? Is it not absurd that we are allowing them to get away with these abnormalities and indiscriminately  stopping the education of our children so callously?

In case you are not aware; at least four past governments have attempted to remove the payroll of universities’ affiliated secondary schools from the government’s payroll but ASUU has always resisted, thus making all universities in Nigeria have two to three times more non-teaching staff. three universities as full or adjunct staff.

It is irresponsible to go on strike for frivolous reasons at your whims and caprices to stop our children’s education for stuff like these.

For three, most workers in Nigeria are underpaid anyway and we should just drop this sentiment that some are more essential than the others. In a clinic, for example, cleaners are so critical that no serious healing can take place without them. So, good pay across board is good for everybody, not only for lecturers. 

The Nigerian health care system has a lot of problems, yet people are managing in both private and public sectors to ensure people get some levels of care. 

We have inadequacies everywhere and they have not stopped our economy from moving with reckless strikes as ASUU indulges in, perhaps learning from NLC.

This allocation and entitlement mentality must stop if we want to build a nation together. We can’t share what is inadequate fairly.

Indeed no sector in Nigeria can have top-class facilities for now as we simply do not have the resources. So, no part should make life more difficult for us. 

Most Nigerians for example don’t want to pay for electricity, but will always abuse the utility companies for outages 

For over six years now, Kwara State University (KWASU) has been paying salaries from their internally generated income and the state government has not made any significant infrastructural contributions to the university except from TETFUND. In the same light, can we ask federal universities to start generating enough revenue to pay whatever rate their lecturers want to collect? If the pay is not good at your university you can try elsewhere. 

Nobody should blackmail me about poor people; we know about poor people when we want government to look for money that’s not available to pay to satisfy the unending the demands of ASUU.

A country that is borrowing about 50 per cent of her budget when less than 10 per cent of private and corporate bodies are in the tax net.

A country where we don’t pay tax, yet we want UK type of health services. Nothing is free, even in Freetown. We have a country where people don’t want to pay anything for something but pay through their nose to send their children for good education abroad. Very illogical mindset. 

If we want better education, we must be ready to pay for it and find a way to take care of the less privileged. 

ASUU people are disingenuous in the way they continue to blackmail governments to sign agreements they know they have no capacity to fulfill. 

Let us allow autonomy of these universities so that ASUU would be useless as it happens in most progressive climes and these incessant strikes will stop. As it is, no government can fund their requests. Nigeria, as it is, must kill ASUU to stop it from the next strike that’ll kill our education. 

Share it around: if ASUU is not killed, ASUU will kill us

Daily Trust

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