Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
National President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, on Thursday told the federal and state governments that adequate funding of education sector can save Nigeria from future doom, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
He gave the advice when Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Chapter of the ASUU distributed more than 1,000 alcohol-based hand sanitisers produced by the LAUTECH committee of Research, Innovation and Development.
The sanitisers, which were produced in different sizes were given to the Osun State COVID-19 Task Force, the palace of Soun of Ogbomoso, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Bowen Teaching hospital, State Hospital, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), and security agents.
Ogunyemi, who was represented by the Ibadan Zonal Coordinator of the union, Prof Ade Adejumo, stated that Nigeria’s greatness lies in funding education to tackle all her problems.
Ventilators and protective kits to fight COVID-19, according to him, can be produced in Nigeria if the government has the right attitude to funding research, science and technology.
He lamented that while governments around the world are pumping monies into researching and development of vaccines, the Nigerian Government has not been forthcoming in that direction.
Ogunyemi maintained that the struggle by the union is to ensure that Nigerian scientists and researchers have the best infrastructures and funding to compete globally and attend to problems confronting the nation.
Ogunyemi, who thanked medical consultants, virologists and other frontline workers that have been risking their lives to halt the spread of COVID-19 and treat those infected, stated that it is imperative that the government should listen to the clarion call by the union and fund education and health massively as COVID-19 has shown political elites that they are not VIPs (Very Important Personalities) to it.
His words: “Our union, as a community of the nation’s intelligentsia, is concerned about the fate and survival of the helpless Nigerians, who have been the constant victims of mindless neglect by successive governments of our nation.
“As a socially responsible union, we will continue to be on the side of the people through our various interventions, both intellectual and material. Even when those who find themselves in charge of our nation’s affairs continue to treat the masses as secondary, we shall not abandon our people, even when the people have been crudely programmed and manipulated to misunderstand our altruistic and patriotic struggles, we remain committed to the ideals of true service to the nation.
“ASUU LAUTECH branch has, through LAUTECH Committee on Research, Innovation and Development (LAUCRID), produced hand sanitisers for distribution to the members of the public. Such efforts are being replicated in other branches of our union nationwide. It is hoped that the modest efforts will achieve the desired goal of keeping our people safe in the face of the COVID-19 challenge.”