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Ridiculing state varsities unhelpful, pro-chancellors tell ASUU boss

By Kehinde Olatunji (Lagos), Timothy Agbor (Osogbo) and Kanayo Umeh (Abuja)
30 August 2022   |   3:45 am
For allegedly referring to state-owned tertiary institutions as “irrelevant and quacks” during a live programme, the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State-owned Universities (COPSUN), yesterday, descended on President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities...

Emmanuel Osodeke

Canvass devolution of powers on emolument matters
For allegedly referring to state-owned tertiary institutions as “irrelevant and quacks” during a live programme, the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State-owned Universities (COPSUN), yesterday, descended on President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, reminding him that such denigrating remarks would solve the lingering crisis in the nation’s education sector.

According to COPSUN, state universities cannot be forced to comply with agreements signed between the Federal Government and employees to which they are not parties.

Registering their displeasure via a statement issued by COPSUN Secretary, Marcus Awobifa, the pro-chancellors stressed the need to democratise ASUU membership.

The body also called for freedom of employers to negotiate with employees as it is practised in other parts of the world.

Thus, it noted that devolution of powers on issues of labour, wages and salaries needed to be entrenched in the university system.

The statement reads: “Devolution of powers on issues of labour, wages and salaries with freedom of the employers to negotiate with their employees, as it is practised in other parts of the world, where we borrowed the university system.

“State universities cannot be forced or coerced to implement agreements reached between the Federal Government and her workers in the universities to which they are not parties.

“It is time to respect the federal nature of our government in all matters and not selectively, especially on e issues of salaries and wages.”

The pro-chancellors went on: “It belies belief that the ASUU president does not realise that his loquacious vituperation and obsolete Stalinist, centralized and unpopular approach to the issue of funding of tertiary education in a modern globalised world is archaic, antiquated and impracticable anywhere in the world.

“COPSUN believes that this is an auspicious time for ASUU to creatively work with all stakeholders to tinker out a compromise that will bring back to the campuses the young men and women who have been insensitively thrown out of the universities for the last six months.

“COPSUN wishes to appeal to the President of ASUU to realise that the membership of ASUU is voluntary. Therefore, it is not his ill informed approach and denigration of state universities that will lead to fashioning out creative approaches to avoid existential extinction that will solve the myriad of problems confronting the university system in Nigeria.”