…Pledges to partner anti-corruption agencies to root out corruption in tertiary institutions. Calls on government to look into the alleged corruption cases involving FUTA and Michael Okpara VCs
The leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students has added a voice to the growing concern by stakeholders and other well meaning Nigeria over the worsening state of education in Nigeria even as it pledged to partner the anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria to root out corruption in the tertiary institutions in Nigeria
In a press briefing last Friday, NANS President Comrade Chinonso Obasi who leads a students’ association with over 40million membership strength reiterated the importance of education and sound enlightenment at this period of Nigerian match to true and prosperous nationhood.
NANS frowned at the lingering disagreement between government, academic and non-academic unions which he said adversely affects education in Nigeria, pledging to join the JAC of SSANU, NAAT and NASU in condemning the continued industrial unrest at the Federal University of Technology, FUTA, Akure. NANS called on government to take a decisive action concerning the University’s Vice Chancellor.
“Some of you covering the beat over time will agree with me that the nation’s educational sector is at its lowest point in our national history. Just this week alone, three critical unions, the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) began a five-day warning strike on Monday, January 16 over the inability of government to implement the 2009 Agreements with them”
“We are equally aware of efforts of government to mitigate the situation including the setting up of Wale Babalakin Committee to re-negotiate with ASUU; and this time around other unions in the universities inclusive. While we commend government for that laudable step, NANS is however constrained to say that some more proactive and far-reaching steps should be taken in funding tertiary education in Nigeria. We cannot continue to study in very unfriendly environment devoid of infrastructural facilities in the name of universities and other tertiary institutions, which in some cases may not pass for glorified secondary schools”
He cited corruption as a bane to educational growth in tertiary institutions:
“Meanwhile, investigations have shown that the pitiable condition of institutions could be partly attributed to deep seated corruption in the system. We look forward to a robust collaboration with the ICPC and EFCC in this war against corruption in higher institutions of learning. FUTA has been experiencing serious industrial disharmony since 6th October, 2016 as a result of workers demand for the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Adebiyi Gregory Daramola on grounds of alleged corruption and maladministration”.
Since it is on record that the Vice Chancellor has a case to answer at the EFCC, though yet to be arraigned, NAN is of the opinion that a government that is bent on fighting corruption in all ramifications should not turn a blind eye under these circumstances.
Similarly, ÑANS calls on the Vice Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike to resign within 7 days effective from today 20th January, 2017 for gross incompetence, maladministration and overwhelming allegations of corrupt practices.
NANS further challenged the FG on 26% budgetary allocation to education as recommended for developing nations by the UN
Other demands made by NANS included:
* A call for University of Port-Hàrcourt to come to a round table to end the crisis bedeviling the institution; including the recent rustication of some students.
* NANS chides the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi over the neglect of LAUTECH, Ogbomosho which has been under lock and key for almost 8 months. NANS regards statements credited to the Governor as shameful and least expected of a leader in his status. NANS gave Governor Ajumobi a 7- day ultimatum to reopen LAUTECH or face mass protest.
* NANS urges the Senate President and the entire National Assembly not to be distracted as they prepare to deliberate on the 2017 budget, as we see the frequent appearance of the Senate President at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) as a ploy to distract the genuine scrutiny of the budget and smooth running of the National Assembly as an independent arm of government.
* NANS commiserates with the Vice Chancellor, management, staff, students and the entire University of Maiduguri community on the mindless bombing allegedly perpetrated by insurgents; describing the action as an act of provocation aimed at weakening recent successes recorded by the gallant troops rooting out the insurgents.
* NANS urges the government to redouble efforts at ending recession as many Nigerians are already experiencing depression.
I thank you for your attention.