Moses Peter, Abakaliki
The Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Ebonyi State Chapter, Comrade Ikechukwu Igwenyi said there is no any State University that can survive without the help and intervention that come from the Union.
Comrade Igwenyi gave this information in Abakaliki the State capital while debunking the rumors that some State Universities want to break out from the ongoing industrial action by ASUU Nationwide.
Igwenyi who is Associate Professor said 98 percentage of what the difference Universities are enjoying today came from ASUU struggle and through the intervention of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and NEEDS Assessment.
“That rumor going on that some State Universities want to break up from the ongoing industrial action by the ASUU is baseless, if any University tries it, such institution will still run back to ASUU because 98 percent of the Structures and equipment being enjoyed today in all the State Universities are courtesy of Tertiary Education Trust Fund TETFUND and NEEDS Assessment via the ASUU struggle“. He said.
The Associate Professor further informed that it is only the TETFUND and NEEDS Assessment that have provided all the needed supports of the State Universities in terms of Administrative Block, Faculty Building, Class rooms, Equipments and furnitures.
Others are Laboratory Equipments, Library and Hostels.
He affirmed that through the efforts of the ASUU, TETFUND AND NEEDS Assessment have been releasing funds for Staff training.
“If all the above-mentioned have been in place courtesy of ASUU struggle, why would you think that any State University can survive without clinching to its sources of livelihood”. Igwenyi asked.
“There are many Universities that have tried it before now to separate itself from ASUU, but it didn’t work out. Obafemi Awolowo University tried it before but later ran back to its source of livelihood which is ASUU”.
“If the State Universities have the same visitors like Federal Universities, it would have been easier but as long as we have different visitors in the State Universities with their different priorities not having any regards for the poor masse, it will never work”. He informed.
Moreover, he said that there is no State Universities that pays one hundred percent of the workers Salaries, instead workers Salaries come mostly from the internally Generated Revenue IGR of the School.
“The best the State Government can do is to subvent the Universities, in Ebonyi State Universities for example, the State Government gives monthly Subvention of one hundred and fifty Million naira (N150,000,000.00) and take thirty one million naira (N31,000,000.00) on front as tax leaving the University with one hundred and nineteen million naira (N119,000,000), How can such University pay salaries when it needs to get over two hundred and Sixty million naira (N260,000,000.00) monthly to be able to pay their workers“. He said.
He urged the Nigeria and State Governments to harken to the plight of the Union knowing that Universities are the hub of economic sustenance where manpower resource is generated.
He summarized by saying that ASUU is a union and as such, every State University has right to break up but the truth remain that no State University had ever broke out without reverting to ASUU for intervention “you can go down the memory lane starting from Obafemi Awolowo University as reference point”.
He encouraged all the students to use this opportunity to learn some trade.