The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have condemned the reopening public universities, citing that it could spring a second wave of the Coronavirus infections in the country.
They lamented that universities are under-equipped to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 among students.
At a press conference at the weekend in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, the Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Dr. Igbana Ajir, maintained that reopening the universities without adequate arrangement in place, such as hostel accommodation, availability of physical facilities to enable social distancing in large and usually overcrowded classrooms, running water, steady electricity supply as well as testing and isolation centres, would be suicidal.
He said, “The visitors of these new institutions are obviously more interested in making political capital than having functional tertiary institutions. The most glaring examples of these states include Ondo, Gombe, Bayless and Kogi.
“And without adequate preparation for running these institutions, they tend to rely on TETFund and school fees as major sources of funding. Most universities today consider payment of school fees as internally generated revenue, with which to run their institutions and pay part of their staff salaries. The union condemns this in totality as it is a pretex for increasing school fees payable by poor parents in Nigeria,” the union decried.
ASUU further lambasted 12 universities established by former President Goodluck Jonathan have been operating close to ten years without their establishment laws.
He said: “These are Federal University, Wukari; Federal University, Gusau and Federal University, Birnin Jenni. This implies that these institutions have been graduating students illegally and running illegal programmes.
“We are therefore calling on the general public and well-meaning Nigerians to stand and stop this design to scuttle the academic pursuit of poor children in public universities in Nigeria.”
ASUU expressed worry over an alleged falsification of figures indicating reduction in COVID-19 infection across the country “even when there are no testing centres,” alleging that all such were done to reopen the universities.Follow us on social media