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University governing councils not retirement homes for old politicians, ASUU tells federal government

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has criticized the Federal Government’s recent appointment of old politicians to the governing councils of Nigerian universities, describing it as a wrong move.

The Chairman of ASUU Branch of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Anambra State Prof Kingsley Ubaorji made the statement at a press conference in Awka preceding a protest against federal government insensitivity to Nigerian universities funding.

ASUU argued that the governing councils of universities should not be seen as retirement homes for politicians, but rather as bodies that should be composed of individuals with the necessary expertise and experience to propel the universities forward.

The union urged the Federal Government to reverse the appointments and instead choose individuals who are truly committed to the development of education in Nigeria.

According to Prof. Ubaorji, University governingcouncils are not retirement home for old politicans.

The Chairman said that ASUU demands the reversal of the appointment of very old politicans as members of governing council of federal universities in Nigeria.

He said that those appointed into the Councils are very old politicians without knowledge of university adminstration, noting that university Council cannot be dumping group for old politicans.

“Our union condemns the dissolution of governing councils without due process. Governing Councils are crucial for the governance and strategic direction of our universities.

“Therefore, the illegal and arbitrary dissolution of the Governing Council whose tenures have not ended undermines Nigerian universities’ autonomy and smooth functioning. This cannot be tolerated as it lays a very bad precedence. Even the membership of the said newly reconstituted Councils is problematic.

“A critical look at the list of the newly constituted Governing Council, shows that it is made up of very old politicians who do not understand the academic system and its administrative processes.

“Our public universities should not be a retirement home for politicians. We therefore call on the Tinubu-led Government to do the needful by reversing its decision on the University Governing Councils dissolution,” Prof. Ubaorji said.

The Chairman also stated that ASUU wanted the federal government to put a moratorium on creating more universities without substance.

According to him, FG cannot
be creating more universities without adequately funding of the existing ones.

“Therefore, we call on the government to put a moratorium on creating more universities without substance.
Our union maintains that the proliferation of public universities without provisions for adequate funding and infrastructure does not auger well for our university system,” he stated.

Prof. Ubaorji further called on FG to look into government’s Visitation Panels to Nigerian universities that make recommendations aimed at improving university governance and administration.

He called in government to implement the recommendations of the visitation panels.

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