The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Abuja renewed its call for autonomy for Nigerian universities. The president of the union, Dr Nasir Fagge said that the call had become necessary due to interference in the running of the institutions.
“You will find out that circulars are emanating in most cases from the National Universities Commission, interfering in the day-to-day running of the universities. “We are also worried that in some situations, you find the vice chancellor summoned by SMS to come to Abuja for issues when they should be allowed to be administering their universities; so we are worried about that,‘’ he said.
Fagge said that the union’s call for autonomy was also enshrined in the 2009 ASUU/Federal Government agreement.
According to him, the union believes that Nigerian universities should be allowed to run their administrative structures and come up with their curriculum just like the foreign universities.
“This will encourage effective learning and research and also promote community service.
“Recently, we had a case where the Federal Government just woke up one day and dissolved the governing councils of the universities.
“The union had to protest and we are happy to say that the councils were reinstated, apart from some of the universities.
“Now we are still struggling to get councils for about four universities to be reinstated.”
Fagge called for the reinstatement of the governing councils of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile ife; University of Benin, University of Jos and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia.
He said that the universities had been operating without a council since the Federal Government dissolved the boards.
“Things have become very difficult for our members in those universities because most of the things that required the councils’ consideration have been kept pending.
“For instance, the issues of appointment and promotion have been put on hold so we have been calling on government to act on this but it has not been addressed yet.”