The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has warned of the dire consequence that will befall academic progress in Nigeria if authorities continue to starve the nations’ universities of funds.
The Zonal Co-ordinator, ASUU Owerri Zone, Uzo Unyebinama, who stated this while addressing members of the union in Awka, Anambra State, yesterday, blamed the situation termed, ‘abysmal condition of universities in Nigeria,’ largely on the absence of funding by the proprietors/management of universities.
In another development, Osun and Oyo state governments have been accused by ASUU of unparalleled insensitivity over the crisis rocking the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).
The union said the inability of both state governments to fund LAUTECH and pay the emoluments of members of staff of the university jointly owned by them is indicative of gross incompetence.
Onyebinama, who spoke at a press conference held at the University of Port Harcourt yesterday, said the union would resist any attempt by the two state governments to deliberately shift the burden of funding of LAUTECH to indigent students through outrageous regime of tuition fees. He said the attempt to impose another charge as means to shore of revenue for the university would be seen as a calculated attempt to deny poor access to university education.
“LAUTECH has continued to have problems of very poor funding since 2013 due to failure by owner-state governments of Oyo and Osun to take over responsibility of funding the university. They owed members of staff 10 months salaries arrears, 2013 – 2017 promotion arrears and 2009-2017 Earned Academic Allowance (EAA).
“There is no evidence of interest development at LAUTECH since inception of the present Oyo/Osun governments. In view of this ugly situation, members of staff, students, as well as their parents and sponsors, have been subjected to untold hardship,” he lamented.