ASUU vows to resist increased tuition fees in Nigerian universities

LAUTECH
LAUTECH

The President of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, has said that the union will resist any attempt to increase tuition fees in the country’s public universities.

He also said ASUU could go on strike if the government failed to meet its demand on adequate funding of the institutions and payment of salaries.

Mr. Biodun, who gave the hint in an exclusive chat with PREMIUM TIMES, said the union would not accept any increase in fees by state or federal governments.

“We will not tolerate any attempt to increase tuition fee, we are against telling people to pay more, even the current fees, we are still fighting them, we as a body have always stood against fee increment and we will continue to stand against it,” he said.

The union leader spoke against the backdrop of reports of a possible increase in tuition fees in universities by the federal government.

According to Mr. Abiodun, ASUU has been engaging the federal government since November 2016 on issues rocking the university system.

“The truth is there are lots of issues rocking the system. We have made our position known to the federal government; we have also written to state governments who have refused to give subvention to their universities,” he said.

“Some of them cannot sustain one university and they go on to establish two or three, compounding the issues.

“We have given the government till June ending to attend to our needs, if the government does not call us by June ending we will convey a meeting to take our position.

“However, we are trying to engage the government but if they don’t invite us to a meeting before June ending, we will still take our position on whether we are going on strike or not.

“But that will not be like early July but middle or late July, that is if they don’t heed to our demands which includes payment of salaries, funding, research and lots more”.

Asked if ASUU would initiate a meeting with the federal government, he said “We will not initiate any meeting if they don’t call us, we can’t initiate meeting.”

He added that the feedback received from the petitions written to the government would determine whether there would be strike or not.

The ASUU President also spoke on the crisis at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH.

“We have issues like this, a case where lecturers are not paid for months will no longer be tolerated. The truth is that this and many more make up our demands, we have written to all state governors too and we want to engage stakeholders in this issue, that is why whatever happens in July will be very comprehensive,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Oyo State Commissioner of Education, Adeniyi Olowofela, has said the owner states are committed to speedy reopening of LAUTECH.

He said the university would have reopened, if not for the controversy surrounding the issue of audit of its finances.

Mr. Olowofela told PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday that the government had given a three-week ultimatum to the external auditors, but were hindered due to lack of documents.

He also said that the stance of ASUU had remained a major problem towards resolving the crisis.

“The truth is when the auditors were to come in, we gave them three weeks to complete the audit, the three weeks should have elapsed but the auditors did not have enough documents to work with,” he said.

According to him, the Oyo state government used federal allocations to pay civil servants’ salaries and used internally generated revenues to fund other institutions like LAUTECH.

He said the government had just paid N144million as subvention to the institution.

“As we speak now, the allocation that lately came from the federal government, everything was used to pay workers’ salary in the civil service,” he disclosed.

“The Oyo state government also just paid N144 million to LAUTECH as subvention, we are committed to the reopening, we did that. ”

On the issue of ASUU’s position and the continued controversy, Mr. Olowofela said, “What we asked of ASUU is just cooperation for three weeks, there is a difference between three weeks and eight months, we cannot obey the position of ASUU.

“Really, the government only needs three weeks of the time for audit, we need to know what we really need in the university; when the audit is done, we know the needs and move on from there.”

While saying that the university administration could be better, he denied that the owner states were suspecting the university management led by Adeniyi Gbadegesin of corruption.

“We never said they are corrupt, as far as we are concerned we only said that the university can do better, no one is stating that they are corrupt,” he said.

On when the university will reopen, Mr. Olowofela said, “We need everyone to appeal to ASUU so we can carry out what we need to, ASUU should not be the proponent of saying that the audit should not take place, they should understand that these are hard periods, these things ought to have been completed and all issues solved.”

In his remarks, the Chairman of ASUU, LAUTECH Chapter, Biodun Olaniran, said, “We are not against any audit, what we needed before now and still need is the pattern of funding because that is what the university needs.

“There are several other recommendations in the white paper of the visitation panel but we don’t know why it is only audit that has taken prominence.”

He said the owner states should show seriousness by charting ways of funding the university more.

“We wonder why they are bringing us to this issue, the documents they need are not even with us,” Mr. Biodun noted.

Efforts to speak with the Vice Chancellor of the University, Adeniyi Gbadegesin, were unsuccessful as he did not pick his calls or reply messages sent to his phone as at the time of filing this report.

LAUTECH has been enmeshed in controversies surrounding poor funding and disagreements between workers and owners of the university on ways to resolve the problems.

The Alumni Association of the institution recently launched a #FundLAUTECH initiative intending to raise about N1billion within 90 days to support the university.


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  • whykay2miami

    So ASUU wants government should keep funding tertiary education and yet this body wants to resist a marginal increase in tuition fees. I doubt the academic capability of those heading ASUU. Some Federal institutions charge as low as N15,000 as tuition fees which is less than $50. Tertiary education is not cheap any where in the world, I understand the fact that Nigerians are low income earners, but charging as low as $50 per session is no longer viable for quality tertiary education.

    • Prayin’ Mantis

      @whykay2miami:disqus,

      For lacking
      in every sense of urgency until every problem morphs into a crisis, and, by
      preferring to drag his feet and wasting five months on the simplest of tasks;
      to simply name his own Ministers, Muhamadu Buhari is the worst president
      Nigeria’s ever had – the most incompetent, the most dull, the least educated,
      the least thinking and least able. Muhamadu Buhari made no single sensible
      appointment since he took office but instead pushed Nigeria into devastating
      recession and worse, he knows no means of escape for one year running, yet
      he raises his neck up to the sky, looking for admiration, like a peacock, as the
      rest of the world hisses at Africa’s presidential ignorance on parade.

  • pheliciti

    I wonder the intellectual capacity of these supposed academics

    • T. Bally

      @pheliciti:disqus

      “PRESIDENT BUHARI IS NO LONGER CONNECTED to the people. The public
      grouse over Buhari’s 2016 budget is not because it is imperfect; no, but because it
      is almost senseless. The Buhari 2016 budget is the exact opposite of perfection,
      not a grade below perfection, but just utterly meaningless.

      The last thing Nigeria needs in today’s recession is a budget of ₦1.8 billion for Buhari’s food
      and drinks. The last thing Nigeria needs in today’s recession is a budget of ₦39billion to run
      Buhari’s office – an amount higher than the budget of the Ministry of Solid Minerals.
      The last thing Nigeria needs in today’s recession is a budget of ₦189million to buy tyres
      for the cars in Buhari’s presidential fleet. Overall, the last 2016 budget is not any
      budget of CHANGE. It is an artifice for THEFT”.

      …………..Vincent Ihevbere

      (June 5th, 2016)

    • J.J Johnson

      @pheliciti:disqus

      No sir! The lecturers are on a distinguished road. The Buhari/Osinbajo government has made Nigeria worse
      than they met it in all facets; even including national common sense. The Buhari government is the worst
      Nigeria has ever had since October 1st 1960 when Nigeria became an independent country. The first
      duty of a responsible government is to improve the welfare of the people in the country – alas, Buhari
      made the already bad welfare of Nigerians a lot worse than he met it. Yesterday was Eid-el-fitr day
      and i saw small chunks of meat served to guests on Lagos Mainland, as if the Muslim host was
      had cut the meat for mouse trap. That is how bad poverty has worsened under Buhari today.
      Muslims who voted for Buhari, en masse, are now walking with their heads down in shame.
      Buhari implored Islamist Ummah for votes but didn’t show a Wasc certificate of know-how.

      • Aluta Continuum

        “The latest increase in the price of petrol by BUHARI in 2016 is the
        most audacious and cruel in the history of product price increase as it
        represents not only about 80 per cent increase but it is tied to the black
        market exchange rate. With the imposition on the citizenry of criminal and
        unjustifiable electricity tariff and resultant darkness and other economic
        challenges brought on by the devaluation of the Naira, and spiraling inflation,
        the least one had expected at this point in time was another policy measure
        that would further make life more miserable for the ordinary Nigerian”.

        ……..Nigeria Labour Congress

        (May 11th, 2016)

        • Factora & Figura

          FACTS AND FIGURES OF COST OF LIVING IN NIGERIA TODAY

          • Minimum wage in Nigeria………………………………………….₦18,000 per month.
          • A bottle of Coca Cola soft drink…………………………………₦80.00k per bottle.
          • Smallest can of Baygon insecticide………………………..₦1,200 per tin.
          • A tin of TITUS sardines……………………………………………₦270.00 per tin.
          • Rent of three bedroom apartment…………………………₦450,000 per annum.
          • A packet of St.Louis Sugar………………………………………₦550.00 per packet.
          • A 25kg bag of garri as staple food………………………..₦14,000 per bag.
          • Petrol for six hours of private electricity…………………..₦60,000 a month.
          • Cost of preparing soup for family of six…………………..₦6,000 every two days.
          • Ceeway drinking water ………………………………………₦550 per gallon.
          • School fees for a child in private school………………….₦2 million per session.
          • Cost of two (2) newspapers a day for information……….₦15,000 per month.
          • One packet of Solpadeine headache tablets……………..₦5,400 per packet.
          • Cost of filling up a salon car with petrol……………………..₦10,700 to fill up a car.
          • Private sector graduate starting salary………………………₦80,000 per month.

  • Give_me_a_Country

    Hello my people,
    Are you from any of the states below? If yes, then Nigeria as presently constituted has disenfranchised you and technically made it IMPOSSIBLE for you to be President of Nigeria regardless of your qualification, experience, preparedness or whatever. The fact that you are from one of these states makes you LESS Nigerian. You cannot be president except by chance maybe as VP and then hope that the president dies in office…and then be prepared for enough suicide bombers and Islamists terrorists. You just can never be president. Period. No questions asked. And the Yorubas and Hausas will tell you that there is strenght in unity. Our mumu don do! Referendum, restructuring or no form of INEC elections in these states. Divided we stand, united we fall. Referendum, the fierce urgency of now.


    SOUTH
    1. Akwa Ibom
    2. Bayelsa
    3. Cross River
    4. Delta
    5. Edo
    6. Rivers


    EAST
    1. Abia
    2. Anambra
    3. Ebonyi
    4. Enugu
    5. Imo

  • Bosede

    This Buhari’s govt is taxing Nigerians and collecting levies by all tricks available including tuition increment. This is worse than what Evans has been doing. A man who is sick and has been bedridden for 3 months in the last 5 months should be forced to quit.

  • By Popular Demand

    Premium Times Editor,

    Muhamadu Buhari
    cannot claim that his garbled message delivered with a croaky voice at Sallah,
    like someone with an advanced lung cancer, is meant for all Nigerians. Such a
    rubbish message can’t be meant for all Nigerians, no, it is divisive and partisan
    and it is an in-appropriate message for only his fellow Islamists, to the exclusion
    of the over 80 million Christians. Therefore, for Nigeria to be repaired and sewn
    together it is better to repeal and replace Muhamadu Buhari for Hausa is not the
    official language of the federal government of Nigeria.

  • Mufu Ola

    ASUU is talking of adequate funding & regular salary & at d same time opposing increase in tuition. It’s strange that ASUU still can’t read the reality on ground instead of grandstanding.Education & health are expensive ventures anywhere in d world.This idea of “free” education is unrealistic & any politician babbling about how it can be done is floating in d air for nothing. Everybody must face reality. Tuition increase will personally affect me also but that doesn’t mean I will lose my sense of reasoning.