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How government can end unrest in varsities, by vice chancellors

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
23 December 2021   |   2:44 am
Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) has urged federal and state governments to devise innovative and creative solutions to unrest in tertiary institutions.

Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo

Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) has urged federal and state governments to devise innovative and creative solutions to unrest in tertiary institutions.

Chairman of the committee, Prof Samuel Edoumiekumo, who stated this during a meeting with members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), said the government must use political means to implement such solutions.

At the parley, attended by ASUU national president, Emmanuel Osodeke, and former union leaders, including Dipo Fasina, Nasir Fagge, Biodun Ogunyemi as well as other members of the National Executive Committee, the group discussed issues affecting university education in the country.

In a statement by Yakubu Ochefu, the committee’s secretary, Edoumiekumo lamented incessant strikes in the nation’s institutions, saying the trend had been going on for more than 30 years without any permanent solution.

He expressed fears that Nigerian public universities might not take their pride of place globally if the institutions could not guarantee basic things like an academic calendar.

While presenting a report by the committee on “Review of 2022 national budget as it affects federal universities, Edoumiekumo said the committee, in its fight against plagiarism and promoting originality in academic research, had developed the ‘EagleScan Plagiarism Detection Software.’

He said like University Transparency Accountability Software (UTAS), Eaglescan was developed by directors of ICT of six Nigerian universities and ready for adoption by university administrators.

ASUU national president thanked the leadership of CVCNU for initiating the meeting and expressed the union’s desire to work with all genuine actors that would add value and make universities better.

Describing vice-chancellors as critical stakeholders in the university system, Osodeke regretted that over the years, “many of them have seen their roles and powers eroded by third party bodies, leaving them to function as political office holders rather than university administrators.”

He also expressed concern over politicisation of VC’s appointment and how, in some instances, the choice of who becomes vice-chancellor is narrowed down to the local government of the state the institution is cited.