Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 18 August 2018 | 1,032 times
The Owerri Zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is gearing up for strike over the plight of ASUU members at the Ladoke University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, Osun State.
The zone comprises Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State University, Owerri, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
The strike, according to the Owerri Zone Coordinator of ASUU, Comrade Uzo Onyebinama, is because the union owes citizens of Nigerians and its critical stakeholders explanation of the issue that had continued to hamper the university system.
He warned that the situation was capable of disrupting academic programmes in the institution, adding that the worrisome state of the university had continued to place it at low standard.
While regretting that near absence of funding by the proprietors of the university (Osun and Oyo states) has adversely affected the institution, he said: “The festering case of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomosho, jointly owned by Osun and Oyo states, is particularly pathetic and very worrisome.
“LAUTECH has continued to have problems of very poor funding since 2013 due to failure by owner state governments of Oyo and Osun, to take responsibility of funding the university.
“LAUTECH has for long not received subvention and presently depends solely on funds from tuition. The university currently owes staff ten months salary arrears (2013-2017), promotion arrears and 2009-2017 Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).”
According to the coordinator, there has not been any evidence of infrastructural development in the institution since the inception of the present governments of Osun and Oyo states.
Continuing, he said: “Despite the fact that several visitation panels have been sent to the university, especially the committee set up by owner state governments chaired by Wole Olanipekun, SAN, which made recommendations for resolving the funding crisis in the university, the owner state governments have not implemented any of the recommendations.
“Our union has continued to bring up issues of concern about the governance of our universities and the nation because they form part of our professional and moral responsibility as enshrined in our Constitution.
“ASUU is one body and whatever affects any branch affects the entire body. If the two-state owner governments fail to act fast, we might call out our members nationwide for industrial action as our immediate concern is the welfare of our members and students in the institution who are suffering.”
Though the staff and students of the university have been subjected to hardship as a result of the ongoing issue, the union called on members of the public and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the governments of Osun and Oyo states to take the training and education of Nigerian children more seriously by adequately funding LAUTECH and addressing all the welfare issues of all stakeholders in the university.
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