Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on the Federal Government to provide necessary facilities to encourage compliance with COVID-19 pevention guidelines in the Universities ahead of the school reopenning.
Prof. Abdulkadir Mohammed, Acting Zonal Coordinator of the Union in charge of Kano, made the call at a news conference in Kano.
Mohammed said that provision of the COVID-19 safety guidelines were critical to the protection of students and staff as well as stem further spread of the pandemic.
He said: “The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country laid bare the infrastructural deficit, not only in the Universities, but other sector of education.
“This is as a result of the continuous refusal of government to heed to the ASUU calls for proper funding of the institutions, to make them globally competitive since 1992.
“Our previous agreements with the government in 1992; 2001, 2009 and 2017 NEEDs Assessment reports have all made adequate provisions for the infrastructural needs of our Universities to make them cope with the COVID-19 protocols.
“With lack of running water and electricity, overcrowded classrooms, poorly spaced hostels, libraries, laboratories and offices, non of the Universities will satisfy the requirements of social distancing.
“Presently; Nigerian Universities are poorly equipped to cope with the COVID-19 protocols for school resumption as outlined by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“The Union is not averse to the reopening of public Universities, before the resumption, government must provide the necessary conditions that will make it safe for our members and the students to avoid spike in virus infections.”
Mohammed further stressed the need for the Federal Government to recommence and conclude the negotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreements based on International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) bargaining principles.
The Coordinator said the Union, however, observed with dismay, the alleged takeover of the Hospitality and Tourism Institute (former Daula Hotel) by the Kano State Government.
He noted that due process was not followed in the process.