The National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi revealed this recently.
According to him, the effect of poor funding of education became obvious when the outbreak started as most of Nigeria’s teaching hospitals do not even have ventilators to help suffering patients.
He added that the earlier our leaders see our education sector as an emergency, the better for the future of the Nigerian child.
His words, “Look at how much money has been raised to fight COVID-19 pandemic. This is because it is seen as a health emergency. We can do same for the education sector. The poor funding of the sector has deep damaging effects on our national life. A poorly trained medical student would end up being a great danger to the health of the people.
“There are cash cows like the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and others that funds can be drawn from. Instead of doing so, our politicians are only interested in drawing funds from them to prosecute elections. Have you ever seen the budgets of the CBN or the NNPC?
“If we want to really catch up with the rest of the world, we must adequately fund the education sector. We plead with parents, guardians, students and Nigerians generally to understand our position and know that we cannot go on postponing the evil day. In fact, the evil day manifested in out lack of adequate response to the COVID-19 outbreak by our teaching hospitals.”
“As we speak, our members in some universities namely Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Akwa, University of Jos, University of Maiduguri, Abubakar Tarawa Balewa University, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture are yet to be paid their salaries. Ridiculously, some lecturers were paid 20 percent of their salaries. Those who got anything reasonable were paid 80 percent of their salaries.
“We have said it that IPPIS is too strait jacketed and not suitable for the university system. Even some sister unions that did not see what we had seen about IPPIS are now complaining. The only solution is for the government to do away with the toga of arrogance and embrace our Nigerian Universities Accountability and Transparency System.
“We are sounding a note of warning that we won’t tolerate further mutilation of our salaries. Our members have been on the same salary structure since 2009. The government has been provocative and lackadaisical in its approach. How do you keep shifting the goal post when a goal is about to be scored.”