Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has taken a swipe at the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, over his recent assertion that the striking public university lecturers should consider farming as alternative profession.
ASUU Chairman, University of Ibadan, Prof Ayo Akinwole, spoke in Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday, against the backdrop of comments made by Nwajiuba that the lecturers could not dictate to their employers over Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) when he participated on a television programme.
The union had also proposed alternative to IPPIS by coming up with University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), saying IPPIS did not recognise the peculiarity, culture and uniqueness of the academic profession.
He stated that public university lecturers were being owed Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) from 2013 to date, challenging the Minister of State for Education to declare if he has been owed allowances and how much since he assumed office.
Akinwole said: “As scientists, experts in agriculture faculties continue to conduct research mainly with external funding or personal monies. But Nigerian government, who failed to protect farmers and exposed Nigerians to excruciating poverty is not making use of research findings. If the Minister of State for Education is interested in farming, he should resign his appointment and stop displaying his cluelessness of the problems in the education sector.
“We are on a just fight to ensure that those in public offices become responsive and responsible to the masses they swore to serve. They must fund public education. We have been on the same salary since 2009. That is no longer sustainable. The universities are being run with personal sweats of lecturers, while politicians siphon monies for personal aggrandisement.