The Ibadan Zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Wednesday in Ogbomoso had disclosed that Ladoke Akintola University, LAUTECH Ogbomoso, remains steadfast and will not pull out of the ongoing strike declared by the national body of the Union.
The Union said that LAUTECH ASUU believes in the long term benefit of repositioning the public universities and is not driven by primordial sentiments being dished out in some quarters.
Addressing a Press conference, the Coordinator of the Ibadan zone of the Union, Professor Oyebamiji Oyegoke, stated that the current infrastructure face-lift which LAUTECH enjoys and TETFUND grants which its staff need are products of ASUU struggles without which the Institution will not be able to have a semblance of a University.
He noted that “that LAUTECH branch of ASUU is actively involved in the current twelve weeks roll-over strike alongside our national body is to draw the attention of Federal Government of Nigeria on the need to implement the Renegotiated Agreement which FGN signed with ASUU in 2009. Other pertinent issues included in the agreement include Improved salary/working conditions for members; stoppage of the proliferation of State and Private Universities; unacceptable use of IPPIS as a salary payment platform; adoption of UTAS as a good salary payment platform; funding for Revitalization of Public Universities; to mention a few.”
While noting that “it will be unfair and unsavoury not to give kudos to the statesmanship efforts of Engr. Seyi Makinde in resolving the problems that had stagnated the growth of LAUTECH by way of dual ownership”, Professor Oyebamiji added that “it is important to note that LAUTECH’s charter and membership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and its principled position on what public universities (whether national or state) should be and how they should be funded to make them internationally competitive has greatly aided the commendable position and standing of the institution.”
The ASUU boss noted that academics at LAUTECH have committed themselves to teach and research even though they are owed earned academic allowances for more sessions which are part of the struggles of the ongoing strike.
“Academic staff members of ASUU in LAUTECH have sacrificed greatly to ensure that academic programmes run successively and ensure that the University’s rating internationally over the years is sustained. Not minding the increasing students’ entries occasioned by the University’s popularity, the academic staff members’ strength is stretched to the brim to the extent of conducting three semesters in a session in some instances. The accruing Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) on these excess academic exertions is one issue that ASUU National is agitating for.”
While asking parents and students to join the Union to fight for their future, the Ibadan Zone of ASUU warned against playing up primordial sentiments saying, “as far as ASUU is concerned, its perception of developmental issues confronting Nigerians whether political, economic, or educational is national rather than ethnic, religious, or of any other primordial preferences. Consequently, ASUU’s focus is on public institutions, especially Universities, whether Federal or State.”
“Since its inception, LAUTECH has benefitted and still is benefitting from ASUU’s steadfast struggles on public education in Nigeria. Before its transformation into Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), LAUTECH was among the initial beneficiaries of the Education Tax Fund (ETF) in the 90s. This is aside from many staff members who benefitted from TETFUND Scholarships. The many befitting buildings which dot the campus landscape are evidence of the gains that LAUTECH as a branch has attracted by its chartered membership of ASUU. What ASUU is pursuing, which its branch at LAUTECH also believes in, is repositioning public universities, whether Federal or state, to serve as agents for developmental transformation. To this end, the MoA of 2020 signed between FGN and ASUU encapsulating all that needed to be done to make public universities (Federal or State) be what they should be must be honoured and implemented. Our struggles are about principles and conviction, not personal, ethnic or religious.”