Nigerian university lecturers have called on the Federal Government to reopen universities and other tertiary institutions in the country, noting that they are ready to resume work.
The lecturers, under the aegis of Congress of University Academics (CONUA), a breakaway faction of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU), made the call in a statement issued on Wednesday after its National Executive Council meeting held in Abuja.
In a statement signed by CONUA’s National Coordinator, Niyi Sunmonu, the lecturers urged the Nigerian government to reopen universities as soon as possible.
The statement reads, “The meeting called on the government to reopen universities as soon as possible as CONUA members are ready to resume work.
“CONUA further stated that the education sector cannot continue to stagnate, as it appears that COVID-19 would continue to be a threat and we must, in the circumstance, learn to strive to lead our normal life.
“Union thus urged the government to make available everything that can help our universities to resume work as is being done elsewhere in the world.
“Everything necessary in terms of COVID-19 protocols must be put in place before reopening the universities in order to prevent students and staff from contracting the disease.”
The congress also condemned alleged intimidation and harassment of some of its members by “some university administrations and some other unions within the universities.”
It said, “While saluting those university administrations which held meetings to promote academic staff members during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Union condemned in strong terms those administrations who failed to organise such exercises, despite that several academic staffs have been waiting for their promotions for a long time, with some spanning five to ten years.
“The Union received information to the effect that some universities held Senate meetings and Congregation elections but refused to convene any meeting to carry out the promotion of its members, simply because some people threatened that such promotions if ever announced, will be reversed.
“CONUA leadership felt outraged by such pronouncements and expressed its resolve to support any efforts by university administrations to facilitate the due promotion of academic staff members.”