Abuja – Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) leadership says the military government era in the country was more sympathetic to their plight than civilian administration.
This was revealed by the President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke at the unveiling of 50 tertiary textbooks published by Nigerian authors under the sponsorship of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), on Thursday in Abuja.
“Thank you very much for this honourable minister and all of us who are present here today. I want to thank my colleagues for raising the issues and I think it is very important.
“I will just say a little thing about what is TETFUND and how did it originate?”
“In 1992, the union was on strike and negotiating how we use to do then few years ago with Obafemi and co, and when we finished, the government said how can we fund it and we said challenge us, we will tell you how to fund this agreement.
“And they challenged ASUU, it didn’t take 3days and we came up with this idea of TETFUND, which was accepted by government then military.
“I have seen that the military are even more sympathetic… Then TETFUND came into place. The decree was signed 1993. ASUU had to go on strike the third time to ensure that TETFUND board is funded and the money was released.”
Reacting to the ‘no work no pay’ policy of the Federal Government against the lecturers, Osodeke called on Nigerians to increase pressure on the government to save tertiary education from collapse.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who was heavily represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah Opiah, said overtime, Nigeria’s tertiary education institutions became dependent on books published outside the country.
He however, promised to end the foreign domination of publications in the country, as reported by Daily Trust.
“It is equally worrisome that the quality of most academic publications in our country leaves much to be desired.
“It is therefore expected that nourishing the culture of quality authorship and the production of indigenous books will not only ensure the availability of relevant books in the diverse subject areas taking cognizance of our local environment and sensitivities but will also safeguard national pride and reduce the demand for foreign exchange.”