ACADEMIC Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has blamed perennial failure of Federal Government to meet its agreements with the union on lack of courage to free itself from the grip of external forces controlling education sector, among others.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin during a day of tributes organised for a member of the Unilorin 49+, Professor Olatunde Oduleye, the ASUU president, Biodun Ogunyemi, said failure of FG to honour agreements with the union had made life uncomfortable and miserable for Nigerians.
“Why FG renege on agreement is because Nigeria is still in the firm grip of IMF and World Bank. The envelope system that they use for budgeting always limits them to addressing needs of Nigerian people because what they come up with as priority areas are never the priority areas for Nigerians. Nigerians need quality and affordable education. They need opportunities to revamp facilities and infrastructure to address rot and decay.
“It’s unfortunate that the ruling class in Nigeria cannot summon enough courage to free themselves from the grip of the external forces that are controlling economy, education, health and all other sectors, thereby making life uncomfortable for Nigerians.
“In 2013, we signed a memorandum of understanding with Goodlluck Jonathan government, which says we needed a total sum of N1.3 trillion to restore our university system. That was only implemented in the bridge. After release of the first year, we’ve been on government’s neck to make additional releases in line with timeline attached to release of those funds. Now, those funds have armstrung process of restoration. You can imagine what would have happened to the system. The little we got had made some difference. That’s why you’ve seen some universities coming up. If that process had been allowed to go on, by now, we’d have seen some significant improvement in public universities in Nigeria”, he said.