The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday kicked against plans to include private universities as beneficiaries of financial interventions by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, announced the union’s position at a two-day interactive session between TETFund and all unions of beneficiary institutions.
The ASUU president noted that such a moAve would lead to the proliferation of private universities without quality.
Osodeke, who hailed TETFund for its interventions in tertiary institutions across the country, urged the agency to work more on the monitoring method of its projects.
The ASUU president noted that the level of performance by the beneficiary institutions are not the same; yet, some of them received the same amount of money.
He urged TETFund to apply sanctions against non-performing institutions, stressing the need for the abolition of what he called “stakeholders’ fund”.
Osodeke said: “ASUU will continue to embark on strike until the right thing is done in our tertiary institutions. Stakeholders’ funds should be abolished.”
TETFund’s Executive Secretary Sonny Echono said the interactive session was conceived to tackle the prevailing challenges in the education sub-sector.
He said: “It is our fervent hope that this interactive session will provide an enabling environment for us to understand some of our challenges and difficulties in the delivery of quality education in our institutions and thereby make meaningful contribution to the successful execution of the objective of the fund.
“As you all know, our primary mandate is to rehabilitate, restore, and consolidate tertiary education in Nigeria, using funding alongside project management.
“The session is also expected to serve as a platform to discuss and mitigate incidences of industrial disputes in the tertiary education sector and look at ways to prevent and avoid their occurrences.”
Echono said the interactive session would enable the stakeholders to build and solidify cooperation and collaboration between the agency, its beneficiary institutions and the unions on matters that affect the growth and development of tertiary education in Nigeria.
He said: “As stakeholders and partners, we intend to share with you all that we have done and continue to do.”
A former Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba, who spoke on the topic: The Role of Trade Unions in TETFund Intervention Activities, hailed the agency for its commitment to the elevation of university education and experience for lecturers, non-academic workers, and the student population in various campuses all over the country.
By Frank Ikpefan
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