Proliferation of Nigerian universities: ASUU raises alarm

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By Daniel Chibuike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has condemned the mass establishment of universities in the country, describing the development as ‘reckless and excessive’. This is even as the Union has advised the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, (FUTO), Owerri, Professor Nnenna Oti, to withdraw the Professorship the institution conferred on Isah Patami, the immediate past Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
The National President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, made the union’s position known at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, while briefing the press on the outcome of ASUU’s recent NEC meeting. He lamented that university education was suffering due to total neglect by the government.
Osodeke noted that the federal and state governments are establishing more universities without making adequate provision for their funding, adding that many of the new institutions were only established for political reasons. The ASUU President regretted that the ugly trend has put much stress on the intervention funds of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, alleging that some of the new universities are being established with money diverted from TETFund.
ASUU called for the stripping of former Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isah Patami, of the status of full-time Professor, saying that the Vice Chancellor and management of FUTO were wrong to award a serving minister as a professor. The union also accused the VC of FUTO, Professor Nnenna Oti of allegedly victimizing members of ASUU in the Owerri-based federal university.
Osodeke raised the alarm that the Federal Government is planning to re-introduce the controversial Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, saying that the January 2024 salaries paid to the ASUU members indicated “new IPPS”.
The union demanded the payment of withheld seven and half months salaries of its members, payment of earned academic allowances and equally condemned the Federal Government for dissolving Governing Councils of Universities.
The ASUU leader expressed concern that public universities are being underfunded by the federal and state governments, leaving the student population and Nigerian education sector to suffer. ASUU warned that failure by the concerned authorities to address its demands would attract severe consequences.

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