Its been 3 Months since the striking Lecturers of the Academic Staff Union Of Universities, ASUU Began her Indefinite Industrial action to protest the ill-treatment of the education sector by the federal government, citing the 2009 MOU signed as a point of reference.
Obasi. D. C. Chinedu of VNTI, while stating that the striking ASUU members has every right to fight for what’s theirs, also pointed out, that the Nigerian students have equal right to demand respect and Justice in their own ill-treatment by the Union.
ASUU according to the president Goodluck Jonathan, has been Politically engineered, which undoubtedly, made them pull out of negotiation, without any resolve in sight. The Nigerian students on the receiving end have been at home, 3 months and still counting, while their annual rents keep running in their Various Universities.
There are Over 70 Federal and State Owned Universities in Nigeria, education over 10 million Nigerian Students. Most of these Universities, especially state funded ones like the Imo State University, IMSU, Ebonyi State University, EBSU, Enugu State University, ESUT, among others have no provision for hostel facilities, while other federal Universities like the University Of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, UNIZIK, the University of Lagos, UNILAG, among others boast of an over-flowing students population, to the extent that the University‘s hostel facilities have been stretched beyond possibility, and can no longer take more students. Imagine a situation at the University of Nigeria, UNN, where the male Students numbering up to 6 room-mates and the Female students up to 4 Room-mates in a room with Facilities originally meant for two Students.
Off-campus hostels/accommodation facilities have been the solution to this increasing number of students population, especially for the state owned Institutions without any sort of Hostel accommodation.
However, these Off-campus Accommodation come at Exorbitant rates to these students with rates from N40,000 per Annum(the cheapest) up to N200,000(per annum) as seen in Self-Contained accommodations. On an average, These nigerian Students Spend up to N80,000 per annum on accommodation costs alone.
Out of the 10 million Students in the Nigerian Universities, 1/20(500,000+) live in these Off Campus accommodations and if 500,000+ Students pay over N80,000(average rent) per annum, that’s N40 Billion Going to the Landlords on rent.
Now, during the periods of incessant ASUU strikes, the landlord has no business with striking Lecturers, neither are they in any Union that grants discount during months of Strikes.
With this being the Case, in the past 3 months of the ongoing ASUU strike 2013, the Nigerian students have spent 1/4 Of their rent at home due to the industrial action. In figures, the Nigerian Students, living in Off-campus houses have Wasted:
1/4 x N40 billion – N10 billion
My question today is that, with the Nigerian students, joining the striking union members so far in the 3 months industrial action, I hope they also have plans for our lost N10 billion in rents???
Instead of Fighting for N96 billion unpaid allowances, Not salary, Why not include our lost N10 billion rent, and ask the FG for N106 Billion on behalf of the Students who have joined them in Solidarity protest and other actions. Can they do this???
The Union have really ruined the Nigerian education system, and wasted the hard earned money of the Nigerian students, and their respective parents.
To be precise, “Every 3 Months that ASUU strike goes on, Nigerian Students lose a Non-refundable N10 Billion to Rent”
Can they help us with that???
Its high time the Union call off the strike action, and look for another method to blackmail the government, and Nigerians.
Happy Independence Day!!
– Obasi. D. C. Chinedu
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