Abioye Olarewaju, Ilorin
Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), West Zone, has condemned the proposed plan by Federal Government to privatize all the University Staff Schools in the country. The union also called for the removal of the executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie. Vice President of SSANU, West Zone, and Comrade Alfred Jimoh made these known in Ilorin recently during a peaceful protest staged by the Association at the University of Ilorin campus.
Jimoh expressed the dissatisfaction over a circular issued by the Federal Ministry of Education which was attached to the memo from the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission dated 5th March 2014. According to him, the circular directed that funding of personnel costs of staff of staff schools in the Federal Budget be stopped with immediate effect.
The memo also stated that “A service- wide circular should be issued by the commission directing Federal Public Establishments that have Staff Schools not to fund their personnel budget from the Treasury.” He described the Circular from the Federal Ministry of Education and the attachment in relation to the Nigerian University system as repugnant, in bad taste as well as offensive to the background, history, establishment and mandates of educational institutions in Nigeria.
“The implementation of such directive would not only run contrary to the purpose of the creation of Universities, but would undermine the prevailing industrial peace existing in the Nigerian University system and compromise its stability” he said.
Jimoh therefore warned federal government against such negative action, saying that it would lead to unrest in Nigerian campuses. The protesters have representatives from Universities of Ibadan, Ladoke Akintola, Ogbomosho and Federal University of Oye-Ekiti.