Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has called on the federal government to give the education sector bailout support as given to state governments, in order to save the sector from total collapse.
The call was made yesterday by the chairman of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University chapter of the union, Malam Adamu Babayo, during an interactive session with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state.
Babayo said only massive financial support could save Nigerian higher institutions from their present predicament, explaining that the purpose of the meeting was to draw the attention of the federal government on their agreement on improving their condition of service in the area of salary structure, earned academic allowance and retirement age of professors.
He recalled that after the Needs Assessment of universities in 2012, it was agreed that government would fund Nigerian universities to the tune of N1.3 trillion at N220 billion annually from 2013 to 2018, for the revitalisation of facilities in the universities.
According to him, the federal government had so far released only N200 billion, leaving arrears of over N600 billion, even when UNESCO recommended a minimum of 26 percent of total annual budget for education.
Babayo lamented that the education sector in the country had suffered a drastic drop in budgetary provision from 12 percent in 2014 to eight in 2016.
He described the recent sack of 13 vice chancellors of federal universities by the Minister of Education without recourse to their governing councils as contravention of the universities autonomy and freedom.
Malam Babayo called on relevant stakeholders to persuade the federal government to play its own part well to prevent pushing the union to embark on a strike, which he said was the last resort.
In his remark, the Bauchi State chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Hashimu Muhammad Gital said all hands must be on deck to prevent any other strike in the nation’s education system.
Gital said time had come for students in the country to be allowed to enjoy uninterrupted academic period to give them more confidence in the system.

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