The Academic Staff Union of Universities has accused the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of placing low premium on Education.
The union said this in reaction to the position of the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba, advising striking lecturers to resign and go into farming rather than holding the government, students and their parents to ransom over the mode of paying them.
Rather, ASUU said it was Nwajiuba that should resign his position and opt for farming.
The Chairman of the University of Ibadan chapter of ASUU, Prof Ayo Akinwole, who made the union’s position known in a statement in Ibadan, described Nwajiuba’s statement as a reflection of his shallow understanding of the academic profession and the low premium the current administration places on education.
Akinwole said the minister of state had “displayed his naivety on educational matters.”
He said: “If the Minister of State for Education is interested in farming, he should resign his appointment and stop displaying his cluelessness of the problems in the education sector.
“We are on a just fight to ensure that those in public offices become responsive and responsible to the masses they swore to serve. They must fund public education. We have been on the same salary since 2009. That is no longer sustainable.
“The universities are being run with personal sweat of lecturers while politicians siphon money for personal aggrandizement. We cannot accept the IPPIS that is against the laws of the land and which fails to recognise the uniqueness of academic profession and culture.
“We have brought an alternative using our members’ money. People like this minister of state mirror the disdain of ruling class for the workers and people of the country.”
Nwajiuba had on Monday said the striking lecturers should go into farming as they could not dictate to their employers how they should be paid.
He said: “Government is actually not holding anyone to ransom.
“It says: ‘This is how I want to pay and it has to be through IPPIS (Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System).’
“You can leave the employment.
“You can opt out of it and say: ‘I no longer want to teach.’
“You can find other professions.
“What we need now are probably more farmers.
“You cannot keep forcing your employer and tell him: ‘I will like you to pay me my money through my pillow.
“Or” ‘I will like you to pay it through this mailbox.’
“ASUU has a lot of complaints and dissipation around.”
ASUU had been on strike since March 23, 2020.