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Re: Need to Pay Salaries of Striking University Workers, by Prof. MK Othman


Re: Need to Pay Salaries of Striking University Workers, by Prof. MK Othman

As expected, this article elicited many comments from my readers with special appeal to President Tinubu to address the thorny issues, which caused industrial disharmony in our university campuses last year. One of the pledges made by President Tinubu was to end the perennial ASUU strike for the betterment of the university system. How can he end it? Mr. Bola Bolawole provided felicitous answers in his Column “ON THE LORD’S DAY” in the SUNDAY Tribune. He advised President Tinubu “One, put the last ASUU strike behind us by paying the lecturers their withheld salary as an act of magnanimity and for peace to reign.

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Two: Implement the MOU entered into with ASUU by the Federal Government. Three: Draw up a Marshall Plan for our institutions of higher learning that will, first, arrest and then holistically address the rot and decadence in every facet of the system in areas such as inadequate and rotten hostel accommodation; inadequate lecture theatres, accommodation, and office space for lecturers and staff; obsolete libraries, laboratories, and other teaching/learning aids; inadequate and inappropriate staffing; increase in the carrying capacity of the institutions so that the multitude of admission seekers can be accommodated; and a review of the curriculum that makes education relevant to our needs as individuals and as a nation”. This was well crafted, I am only adding the voices of other concerned Nigerians. Happy reading

Well written, highly articulated, and on point Prof. I think very rich write-ups like this shouldn’t just end here, but should capture the direct attention of all the stakeholders and actors involved. I expected ASUU leadership to be enlightening the public with writeups like this. But to be honest ASUU and other university-based unions have not been doing well in terms of public enlightenment. In war, media propaganda is a very lethal weapon, and unfortunately, we’ve not been using it. Well done Prof. Keep up the good job.
Dr. Nizam Mustapha Ikira

One of the low-hanging fruits is that Federal Government should completely divest from secondary and primary education in any form to concentrate on funding its Universities and Polytechnics. Even those belonging to Universities staff schools, Army, Police, and Navy staff schools should be given to states where they are domiciled. BAT should negotiate the installment payment of arrears of withheld salaries to signal a break from the past and commence his administration in a clean state.
Engr (Dr) Richard Akinbamowo

Dear Prof, Compliments of the season.
It is with great admiration and pleasure that I read the above-mentioned article in Blueprint newspaper on 28th June 2023. You aptly captured the urgent need for the new administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to extend an “olive branch” to ASUU and other University-based unions to bring to an end the incessant strike actions that slow down the progress of our Ivory Towers.

As you rightly pointed out, the immediate release of our 7.4 months withheld salaries will act as a catalyst to the healing process of the already demoralized academics in Nigerian Federal tertiary institutions.
I wish there will be a way you could get in touch with ASUU executives to consider this great piece of yours and act urgently on it.

Thanks for the inspiring write-up sir. More ink to your pen!!
Once again, Eid Mubarak Prof!!
Ezemokwe Ifeanyi U.

Good evening Prof. Barka da Sallah. Taqabbalal Allahu Minna wa Minkum. This is a very good article that touches both parties in the negotiations for quality education in Nigeria. I mean ASUU and FGN are responsible for the betterment of our system of education. To ASUU leadership as you rightly mentioned, they should devise new tactics of using more diplomacy than always looking confrontational in approach. They should learn how to use the media rather than being used by the media to gain popularity. There should be a media think tank that will be issuing press releases, not always the president who might not understand how best the Nigerian media operates. Not all interviews are granted without good homework by the leadership.

The government position on student loans is a case where ASUU should thread with caution because the comments by the leadership of ASUU on not seeing anything good in it has already pitched the union against the SUG who are seeing it as a way to complete education without stress while not minding the consequences. As for the government, it has to take a large chunk of the blame for not honoring most of the signed agreements since 2009. They should call ASUU for a holistic view of the university system using some practicable approaches that will not strain the government, the parents/students, and the university workers. Even ASUU know that some of the agreements signed are not implementable, but they insist on 100% implementation. In such cases a 50-70% is a pass that should be appreciated, not condemned in its totality. We should learn to use some carrot and stick approach that will allow us to run and live and fight another.

An educational summit that will involve all stakeholders in the sector is necessary, especially in this government that has the sympathy and backing of a majority of Nigerians. There are enough resources to make the education of Nigeria work again, on the political will which is lacking. However, in under one month, President BAT has shown that the will is there. Those funds Honorable Gudaji claimed to have found by his committee can work wonders in all the sectors of the economy. We pray for him to have a vision that can correct all the wrongs of the past as we see in Lagos State. ASUU and FGN, enough is enough of this misunderstanding if we are working for the masses.
Dr. Sani Isiaku

Amen for your prayer, Prof. You have said it all regarding the menace and solutions to the perennial and incessant ASUU strike and our decaying educational system. All hands are supposed to be put on deck to save our educational system from decaying, collapsing, or sinking. Thank you very much for always educating and enlightening us sir (Prof.). Thank you very much for working round the clock to find solutions to our daily problems that are predicaments to sustainable development. May Almighty Allah continue to guide, bless and protect you and Nigeria, amen. More golden inks to your golden pens, sir (Prof.).

Abubakar Abdullahi

Of course, we need our four-month withheld salaries for the members of SSANU. Since our backlog is legitimate for us
S. S. Bindawa

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