From Umar Dankano,Yola
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has observed that the corona Virus Disease has clearly brought to fore the challenges bedevilling the health and education sectors in the country.
Zonal Coordinator of the Union in charge of Yola Zone,Comrade Augustine Ndaghu advanced the observation at a press conference in Yola, Monday, noting that the many years of neglect of these two critical sectors resulted in lack of well-equipped testing and diagnostic as well as treatment and research laboratories in our health and educational institutions.
Ndaghu added that if the government has faithfully implemented the 2012 Needs Assessment report which identified the intensity of the rot in Nigerian public universities,by now the universities would have been more involved in COVID 19 testing and developing solutions.
“Our universities would have been contributing through cutting edge research in well-equipped laboratories as is the situation in many countries of the world.
“In Nigeria public universities as at today,facilities for strict adherence to the provisions of COVID 19 protocol are grossly inadequate as hostel accommodations,lecture theatre and classes available when compared to student’s population could only make a mockery of the social distancing requirement.
“It is our candid opinion that the citizens deserve a better deal in the face of the global pandemic than we are getting as the primary responsibility of government is to secure and lessen the burden of its citizens.”.Ndaghu stressed
On the ongoing industrial strike action by the ASUU in the country,the union accused the Federal government of insensitivity to honoured its side of the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement rather imposed the controversial IPPIS for payment of salaries to universities.
The Union also called on the Taraba state government to honour and implement the memorandum of Action (MOA) signed on the 31st May.2019 with TSU branch of ASUU for a better condition of service to its members.”