Following the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Association of Universities (ASUU) last week, the federal government and the leadership of the lecturers’ union are scheduled to hold a meeting today on the way forward.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP in a telephone interview, the national president of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, revealed that the federal government had called the union to a meeting.
“We will attend the meeting and see what they have to tell us. We will present our position to them and know the outcome,” he said.
Ogunyemi, however, refuted the report from some quarters that ASUU was in support of the education bank proposed by the federal government.
According to him, ASUU’s position is that the education bank will sentence Nigerian students, who took the loan, to a life of debt and suffering, which the association cannot support.
“They said you will borrow N1 million and pay N700,000 to the universities. That money you are paying is a tuition fee. And the federal government keeps denying the story about increment of tuition fee. It is like forcing the children to pay tuition fee by borrowing and there is no guarantee that they will get jobs immediately they graduate,” he said.
The ASUU national president added that the bank was earlier introduced in Nigeria between 1993 to 2000, but failed woefully due to corruption.
“Education Bank is a way of enriching the public and private universities. All students of private and public universities will be borrowing from the bank and the money will be paid directly to the university, thereby enriching the private universities.
“These private universities have also tried to access the TETfund and we have resisted them because the Fund emerged as a means to address the issue of tuition fees,” he said.