The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Wednesday said the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, remains steadfast and will not pull-out of the ongoing strike declared by the union.
The union also said the LAUTECH chapter believed in the long term benefit of repositioning the public universities and not driven by primordial sentiments being dished out in some quarters.
The Coordinator, Ibadan Zone of the union, Prof. Oyebamiji Oyegoke, while addressing journalists in Ogbomoso on Wednesday, disclosed that the current infrastructure face-lift which the university enjoys and TETFUND grants accruing to its staff are products of ASUU struggles without which the Institution will not be able to have a semblance of a university.
He noted that “that LAUTECH branch of ASUU is actively involved in the current 12 weeks roll-over strike alongside our national body is to draw the attention of Federal Government of Nigeria on the need to implement the Renegotiated Agreement which FGN signed with ASUU in 2009.”
“Other pertinent issues included the agreement include: Improved salary/working conditions for members; stoppage of proliferation of State and Private Universities; unacceptable use of IPPIS as salary payment platform; adoption of UTAS as acceptable salary payment platform; funding for revitalization of public universities; to mention a few”, he said.
While noting that “it will be unfair and unsavoury not to give kudos to the statesmanship efforts of Governor Seyi Makinde, in resolving the problems that had stagnated the growth of LAUTECH by way of dual ownership”, Oyebamiji added that “it is important to note that LAUTECH’s charter and membership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and its principled position on what public universities (whether national or state) should be and how they should be funded to make them internationally competitive has greatly aided the commendable position and standing of the institution.”
The ASUU boss maintained that academics at LAUTECH had committed themselves to teaching and research despite the fact that they were owed earned academic allowances for more sessions which is part of the struggles of the ongoing strike.
According to him, “Academic staff members of ASUU in LAUTECH have sacrificed greatly to ensure that academic programmes not only run successively but also ensure that the University’s rating internationally over the years are sustained. Not minding the increasing students’ entries occasioned by the University’s popularity, the academic staff members’ strength is stretched to the brim to the extent of conducting three semesters in a session in some instances. The accruing Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) on these excess academic exertions is one of the issues which ASUU national is agitating for.”
While asking parents and students to join the union to fight for their future, the Ibadan Zone of ASUU warned against playing up primordial sentiments, stating that “as far as ASUU is concerned, its perception of developmental issues confronting Nigerians whether political, economic, or educational is national rather than ethnic, religious, or of any other primordial preferences. Consequently, ASUU’s focus is on public institutions especially Universities whether Federal or State.”
“Since its inception, LAUTECH has benefitted and still, is benefitting from ASUU’s steadfast struggles on public education in Nigeria. Before its transformation into Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), LAUTECH was among the initial beneficiaries of Education Tax Fund (ETF) in the 90s. This is aside from many of the staff members that benefitted from TETFUND Scholarships.
“The many befitting buildings which dot the campus landscape are evidences of the gains which LAUTECH as a branch has attracted by its chartered membership of ASUU.What ASUU is pursuing, which its branch at LAUTECH also believes in, is repositioning public universities whether Federal or States to serve as agents for developmental transformation.
“To this end, the MoA of 2020 signed between FGN and ASUU encapsulating all that needed to be done to make public universities (Federal or State) be what they should be must be honoured and implemented. Our struggles are about principles and conviction, and not personal, ethnic or religious”, Oyebamiji added.
Culled from THISDAY