Student Loan Bill, Attempt to Abandon Public Funding of Nigerian Universities — ASUU

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the Union of Academic Staff of Universities (ASUU) has accused the Nigerian government of attempts to ‘systematically’ wash its hands of funding public universities with the introduction of a student loan bill by the National Assembly.

Both houses of the National Assembly passed a student loan bill that House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila first introduced to the house in 2016.

If approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, the government would be mandated to establish an education bank which the bill proposes would provide education loans to students.

But ASUU, in a statement by its president, Emmanuel Osodeke, a professor of soil sciences, condemned the move, describing it as an attempt to make university education out of reach for poor Nigerians.

In the statement issued after its quarterly National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the University of Calabar over the weekend, ASUU claimed that the proposed education loan failed in other countries where it was introduced.

“We are concerned that advocates of the policy are so eager to foist it on Nigerians when they have done the most to push the working people of this country into poverty through sheer incompetence in managing our nation’s economic fortunes.” the statement reads in part.

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The union rejected what it described as the government’s “arrogant insistence on awarding a prize” in lieu of a negotiated salary package for its members. He also accused the government of trying to turn the relationship with the workers into a master-slave situation.

The union also condemned the government’s continued withholding of academic salaries for seven and a half months, saying it would not accept the alleged casualization of its members’ work through the payment of October salaries on a prorated basis.

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“The union draws the attention of Nigerians to the persistent problem of the renegotiation of the FGN-ASUU Agreement of 2009, which was the initial problem that led to the suspension of the strike. More worrisome is the growing anti-worker stance of the government, which suggests attempts to abrogate the principle of the collective agreement. NEC rejects in its entirety the government’s arrogant insistence on awarding an award instead of a negotiated salary package,” the statement added.

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ASUU therefore called on Nigerians to convince the government to urgently address all outstanding issues between it and the union in the interest of the students and the country.

“Finally, NEC appreciates the resilience of our members and their families. His understanding and perseverance, in the face of difficulties and provocations caused by the government’s intransigence and insensitivity, will be rewarded by posterity.”

background

The industrial dispute between ASUU and the Nigerian government, which has resulted in incessant strikes that characterized the country’s university system, has given way to talks about university funding.

Government officials have stated on different occasions that the government cannot continue to finance universities alone, but ASUU has rejected this.

At a recent event, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board registrar Is-haq Oloyede suggested a model similar to the National Health Insurance Scheme where the government can help indigent people pay a certain percentage of school fees. after they have subscribed. to the initiative.

Qosim Suleiman is a reporter for Premium Times in partnership with report to the worldconnecting local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on 1 topics covered around the world.

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