The Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says contrary to claims by Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti governor, ASUU has fared worst under the present administration.
ASUU had embarked on an indefinite strike on November 5 over “poor funding” of universities in the country, and failure on the part of the government to honour the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the union and the federal government in 2017.
Commenting on the industrial action, Fayemi said ASUU could not have everything it wants.
He also said no government has done more for the union than the Buhari administration.
Reacting to his comment, Bola Oniya, chairman, ASUU-FUTA, said members of the union had been having a difficult time since Buhari assumed power.
He said the federal government reduced the allocation to the sector from nine percent to seven percent, adding that “this is a far cry from the UNESCO’s recommendation of 26 percent to which Nigeria is a signatory.”
Oniya further asked Fayemi how he arrived at the statistics that professors earn the same N500,000 as governors, asking the governor to “wake from oblivion”.
“This government has not done anything worthy of praise in the public universities, rather it is fond of trading blames, abdicating responsibilities, dishonouring agreements, insensitive to workers plight, intent to commercialize education and globe-trotting while the citizens are condemned to abject poverty. You (Fayemi) may need to check the scorecard again and wake up from oblivion,” the statement read.
“Since the inception of the current administration, there has been several untoward interferences by certain dramatic personnel in the guise of ‘oversight’ functions in public universities and thus challenging the autonomy of universities in Nigeria.
“These dictations from various quarters are unwholesome for the smooth running of the universities and against the global best practices. Since December 2015, workers in public universities (state and federal) have been plagued with a shortfall in salaries.
“Three years running, the same problem persists and Ekiti State University will rank high on the list of state universities with the shortfall problem as the university owes workers five months salaries. The governor (Fayemi) may claim that the debt was inherited, but the clock is ticking.
“This may be hilarious to some but to me it is unintelligent. Where did the governor source his information? The basic salary of a professor at bar (to his family) is less than 300,000 monthly and with his other allowances he earns about 500,000 till he retires at 70 years.”