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ASUU deplores proliferation, neglect of varsities

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Kano to convert illegal structures to mega schools

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU) has lamented the proliferation and subsequent neglect of state-owned universities in the country.

The Coordinator of Sokoto Zone, Jamilu Shehu, at a press conference, yesterday, in Katsina State, called on the Federal Government to fast-track implementation of the December 2020 Memorandum of Action (MoA) it had with the union or risk industrial action.

Sokoto Zone consists of Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto (UDUS); Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University (UMYU), Katsina; Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero (KSUSTA); and Federal University, Dutsinma (FUDMA), Katsina State.

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Shehu said, in addition to the large number of state universities, they were not properly funded. He cited KSUSTA, which is facing neglect, including pension and salary matters.

“The idea behind the establishment of state-owned universities has, over the time, been abused by politicians. Politicians of the Fourth Republic, in particular, have turned the establishment of state universities into projects for rewarding the electorate.

“Today, quite a number of these universities are battling with crises associated with funding, allowances, pension, salary and overall development,” he noted

ASUU also said that government’s foot-dragging in the implementation of the MoA could lead to another industrial action.
IN another development, Kano State Government has begun the revocation of undocumented properties and structures, aimed at converting them to mega secondary schools.

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The Commissioner for information, Muhammad Garba, disclosed this in a statement to The Guardian, yesterday, in Kano. He said the measure was to decongest the boarding schools across the 36 local councils, following persistent abduction of students from boarding schools in neighbouring states.

According to him, the state government has reviewed the security situation, in the face of recent offensive against bandits and other criminals in forests adjoining the state.

One of such confiscated and converted properties at Filin Bola, along Court Road in Tarauni Local Council, which has no building permit.

“When the school takes off, it would have, among others as its specifications, a storey block of 18 classrooms, a storey block of laboratories, multi-purpose hall, administrative block, sports arena, VIP toilets, state-of-the-art science equipment,” he said.

He also revealed that government would confiscate property developed on inappropriate areas. Government, he added, “is looking into cases of land approvals for residential purposes, but converted to shops or commercial plots and vice versa.”

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ASSUJamilu Shehu
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