ASUU talks tough on appointment, removal of VCs

From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi State chapter has accused the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu of violating the Nigerian law on the removal and appointment of Vice Chancellors of new Federal Universities.

The chapter chairman, Adamu M Babayo in a press conference at their secretariat in Bauchi yesterday said, ” Federal Government refused to abide with the 2013 MOU where it was decided that there will be University autonomy, but recently the Minister of Education decided to removes 13 Vice Chancellors of new Federal Universities with Councils and appoints new ones which is a violation to our agreement.

“We wondered if the Minister knows what he is doing over the decision to removes and appoint 13 Vice Chancellor without meeting with university governing council because it is the mandate of the university council to remove and appoint vice chancellor and not the Minister.”

The ASUU chairman also faulted the federal government for its failure to implement some other agreements reached since 2009 which among them are funding of universities, pension reform act, earned academic allowances among others.

“As if the refusal to fully implement the agreements is not enough insult to the union, the Federal Government has taken steps that are strangulating the universities and making nonsense of the agreement. Some of the government policies and actions include, the single treasury account which is almost getting the universities to their kneels.

“Others include shortfall in salaries which has been on since December 2015 with the result that some Universities pay fractions salaries and budgetary allocation to education which is at an all time low of 8percent in 2016 against the UNESCO benchmark of minimum of 26%,” Babayo said

According to Babayo, the union has made several efforts including writing letters as well as meeting with government officials but no sign by government to remedy the situation.

Babayo also condemned the decision of the Federal Government to unilaterally abrogate the provision of free education to children of Staff University Primary Schools.

“The union is calling on all of us to prepare to wage war against the slave maters and preserve our public universities. The union issues this call to prepare for yet another struggle for the liberation of our universities. If the government continues to be adamant, we will take a drastic action,” he said