The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Akure zone, on Thursday, called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, address the current economic hardship facing Nigeria and save the nation from economic collapse.
The union stated this during a press conference held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), through its zonal coordinator, Dr Alex Odiyi, who expressed concerns over the present state of the nation.
Odiyi noted that the adoption of World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sponsored policies by the Federal Government had not, in any way, proffered any solution to the problems of the country.
He called on the Federal Government to reach out to Economists of repute, who can proffer solution to the nation’s economic challenges, rather than inviting foreign economist to fix the nation’s problem.
The Akure zone of ASUU stated that the globe-trottimg for international experts and advice for the solutions of the nation’s problems would not yield any positive result.
“If we must solve our problems, we must stop looking abroad for solutions to our problems. Abroad is not meant to proffer solutions to our problems in Nigeria, we must find solutions to our problems ourselves.
“The consequences of this ugly development is the spiraling prices of essential goods and the intolerable hardship being experienced by Nigerians.”
He stated that the economic recession had culminated in the inability of many states government to pay workers’ salaries, saying “not less than 28 states of the 36 states of the federation owe workers’ salaries of between six to 12 months.”
He attributed the insecurity hitting the geopolitical zones of the nation, ranging from the Boko Haram in the North-East, IPOB and MASSOB in the South-East, NDA in the Niger Delta and many more to the hardship in the country.
“The security problems are of course complexly linked to the economic situation,” he said, enjoining the Federal Government to shun IMF/World Bank policies, which he added had plunged the country more into recession.
Odiyi said the nation’s tertiary institutions in the country were blessed with academia and resource persons, who could proffer solutions to the problems confronting the country in all ramifications.
He noted that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) introduced by the Federal Government to universities had been a hindrance to research in the country.
He said “the TSA is inimical to the well-being of universities. The policy has made it impossible for universities to draw research grants, run programmes based on endowment funds and all transfer funds earmarked for staff development in universities locally and overseas.”
He reiterated that the Federal Government should look inwards for solution to the challenges confronting the nation, by concentrating on the education sector and addressing the fundamental demands of ASUU, especially the 2009 ASUU/FG agreement.