As the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of universities (ASUU) enters the third month, a group, under the auspices of Coalition of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria, (CCSON), has called on the striking lecturers to be more logical in their quest for improved funding of the education sector.
The group, in a communiqué jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Temitope Fadahunsi and national secretary, Ahmed Yahaya, after an emergency meeting in Abuja, over the weekend.
Fadahunsi said, “The issue ASUU is fighting for boils down to proper funding and what Nigerians need is for the tertiary education sector to function optimally. We implore ASUU to be logical in their argument on some issues as regards the betterment of education in Nigeria”.
CCSON, after its meeting, bemoaned the continuous backward slide in the standard of tertiary education in the country, while urging parties in the botched negotiation to consider positive compromise in resolving the current impasse.
“We all are aware of the on-going strike by ASUU and it is approaching its third month without any serious sign that it will come to an end this week or next, and we cannot continue to sit back and watch without concern.
“Everybody from the students, ASUU itself and government are all concerned and we believe that the only way out is through positive compromise.
“We are of the opinion that ASUU is fighting a good fight which is for the proper funding of the education sector, but the continued strike going into its third month is not to say that government has not been doing anything at all in the education sector,” the communique stated.
According to the national coordinator, ASUU ought not to criticise TETFund, given what the intervention agency has contributed to the sector over the years.
He said, “We will not miss the opportunity to point out that the recent alarmist antics of ASUU concerning the Tertiary Education Trust Fund is one that should not be encouraged given what the agency stands for and what it has contributed and continues to contribute to the sector.”
ASUU, it would be recalled, embarked on an indefinite strike since July 2, to press home demands for implementation of a pact reached with the federal government in 2009, part of which also involved payment of earned allowances for academic staff of public universities in Nigeria.
While all the relevant stakeholders were negotiating on means to end the strike, ASUU backed out of further talks with federal government, citing insincerity on the part of government to implement the existing agreement.
Despite ASUU’s stance, government had gone ahead to inject N130billion into the system through the various governing councils of the affected public universities, the sum is to be expended on infrastructural development and settlement of earned allowances arrears owed the university workers.