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Don’t come to UI, we are still on strike – ASUU warns DLC students, parents

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Lecturers under the auspices of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the University of Ibadan have warned Distance Learning Centre (DLC) students of the university against coming to the institution.

The lecturers noted that this warning became necessary because the union is still on strike.

DAILY POST reports that this is coming amidst rumour that UI has pulled out of the ongoing ASUU strike.

ASUU has, however, warned students against coming to the institution for any academic activity.

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The union in a statement made available to DAILY POST on Wednesday, advised parents against releasing their wards for the purported resumption at its distance learning unit.

ASUU Chairman at the University of Ibadan, Professor Ayoola Akinwole in the statement, disclosed that members of the union would not be available for both physical and virtual teaching.

He explained that members of the union are on total and comprehensive strike as directed by the National leadership of the union.

Akinwole added that the strike embarked upon by the union was aimed at getting the best resources for training, teaching, research.

“The attention of the leadership of ASUU-UI has been drawn to mischievous news in circulation with insinuation that UI has pulled out of the ongoing ASUU Strike due to the management of the University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre announcing resumption of academic activities.

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“This is to inform the general public that the ongoing ASUU strike is still fully in force in the University of Ibadan.

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“As such, members of ASUU, University of Ibadan branch will not be available for teaching (both physical and virtual), examination exercises, and attendance of statutory meetings of any kind until the National Executive Council (NEC) of our Union directs otherwise,” he said.

Education

Elumelu in global academic limelight as TEF case study becomes Harvard’s curriculum

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In an unprecedented move, the Harvard Business School, the graduate business school of Harvard University, is set to cast the spotlight on the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), recognizing the Foundation’s extraordinary philanthropic achievement in a ground-breaking case study.

The case study, the first of its kind on any philanthropic organization in Africa, is to be launched on Thursday, February 29, 2024, before a class of graduate students in Boston, Massachusetts, and will explore the Foundation’s unique approaches and transformative initiatives, showcasing how strategic philanthropy offered by TEF is driving positive change and elevating countries and communities.

This move by Harvard underscores the Foundation’s pivotal role in empowering young African entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries and places the Foundation at the forefront of global discussions on transformative and catalytic philanthropy, acknowledging its significant contributions towards fostering entrepreneurship in Africa.

In addition to delving into the foundation’s innovative approaches and the resultant impact it has garnered over the years, the event will also feature an exclusive acknowledgment of the Founder of TEF, Tony Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the African continent.

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The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading philanthropy, empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, driving poverty eradication, catalyzing job creation across all 54 African countries, and increasing inclusive economic empowerment.

Since the launch of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015, the Foundation has trained over 1.5 million young Africans on its digital hub, TEFConnect, and disbursed over USD$100 million in direct funding to 20,000 young African women and men, who have collectively created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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Tony Elumelu who spoke on the impact of TEF on the African youth said, “TEF is creating economic hope and opportunity for African Entrepreneurs. We know that entrepreneurship is the antidote to poverty, youth unemployment, and insecurity. Through the intervention of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we are encouraging our young people, giving them hope through the seed capital we provide, capacitating them through the training and mentoring we provide, and setting them up to create businesses that will succeed and create even more jobs. Collectively we are fixing the challenges that we have on the continent.

Continuing, he said, “The Tony Elumelu Foundation was set up to create more successful African business leaders. We want to replicate our own success and create entrepreneurs who will build more prosperity on the continent and for the continent. It’s all about transforming our society and making sure that we leave society better than we met it. It is not about the money that we have in our bank accounts, it is about the legacy that we make and the impact we create. Prosperity for all is what will create the security, harmony, and peace that we need.”

The Harvard Business School session will provide a platform for thought leaders, scholars, and business enthusiasts to engage in a meaningful discussion on the role of philanthropy in shaping sustainable and inclusive economies. As the world grapples with complex challenges, the Tony Elumelu Foundation stands as a beacon of hope, showcasing how strategic philanthropy can be a driving force for positive change.

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ASUU’s struggle beyond salaries, welfare only — Osodeke

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The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Emmanuel Osodeke, has warned members against making the union’s struggle look like a fight for their salaries and welfare only at the expense of better public universities.

Osodeke said unions in the past made members’ salaries and welfare the only focal points of their struggles when they should have fought diligently for the survival, continuity and efficiency of public institutions and systems.

Osodeke disclosed this while making remarks during a ‘University-wide Seminar with the theme: “The Demands of Scholarship in the 21st Century’ which entered its second day on Wednesday at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago Iwoye, Ogun State.

He said the former approach made the union lose their jobs and welfare at the end of the day when those institutions collapsed.

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Citing examples of worker’s unions of moribund Nigeria Railways, National Electric Power Authority, and Nigeria Airways among others, the ASUU president said the workers lost their jobs as those public institutions collapsed.

He said that had the unions in such places fought for the survival and preservation of the public institutions, they would still be standing today as national assets and employers of labour.

Osodeke expressed concern over the practicability of the Federal Government’s student loan scheme to work in favour of ordinary Nigerians from modest backgrounds, saying “Given the stringent conditions for accessing the scheme, it is certain that it would end up serving the interest of children from already wealthy families”.

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He said the requirement stipulating that a guarantor of such a credit scheme must be a level 12 officer takes it away from the reach of poor students in public higher institutions across the country.

He said, “We need to educate our members. We need to let them know why we are struggling and to let them know about the union. We also need to bring them up to the principles of the union. They need to know why we take some actions like strikes because we have some new members among us.

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“In my opening remarks, I tell them that look, immediately you start struggling for your salaries alone and the system dies, then you have no job again and that is why today, those things that were there in the 60s, 70s, are not there again.

“For instance, we used to have Nigeria Railways. Nigeria Railways was the best in Africa, but the workers left the system and were fighting for themselves and their salaries alone and today no railway again and they have lost their jobs but if they had been fighting for the system, like fighting to have railways working from Calabar to Port Harcourt, Benin – Lagos, Kano Maiduguri and others working, their jobs would still be working and the union would still be stronger.

“Nigeria Airways too used to have a strong union but what do you have now? Also, look at NEPA. NEPA workers left the institution and were fighting for themselves, today NEPA is no more. The same thing is happening to the Nigeria Union of Teachers. The public primary schools and secondary schools are dead while private ones have taken over and when they are private, they do not unionise.

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“Go to private universities in Nigeria and see what the lecturers are facing because they are not unionised. They are suffering but they cannot speak out. If you see what lecturers in private universities are facing, you will be shocked. That is why we are left to speak for the institution.

“All our hospitals are going the same way. Go to our government hospitals, they are not what you can be proud of. That is why when you have some level of commitment, we must struggle for the system. That is why we talk of TETFUND and today, we have public universities and they account for more than 95 per cent of the university population.

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“We still have the public universities working because of the fees and because of the environment where you are free to express yourself freely unlike when you still have to go to one church where the owner of the university says that you must be a member of that church, where you must pay tithe and that is the difference.”

He urged the Federal Government to pay salary arrears owed members in some universities, saying there was nothing to celebrate about the two months’ arrears recently paid.

According to him, the government can pay if it makes arrangements on the way to go about it.

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Two new varsities to be approved next week – NUC

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The National Universities Commission said plans are being concluded to announce the establishment of two new universities in the country which will further bring the total number of institutions in the country to 272.

The commission’s acting Executive Secretary, Chris Maiyaki, said this during an interaction with journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

Maiyaki said the NUC would continue to approve new universities to cater for the admissions gap in the country.
He noted that while about two million candidates seek admission into universities every year, the total available quota for admission range between 500,000 and 700,000.

Maiyaki’s stance comes amidst the fight of the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other stakeholders in the tertiary education sub-sector against the proliferation of institutions in the country by the government at the Federal and State levels.

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Stakeholders on numerous occasions said the establishment of new universities amidst poor funding of existing ones was not the way to go and hence had called on the government and the NUC to halt approvals given to new public universities.

“We have no choice but to as a matter of deliberate policy undertake the massification of universities,” Maiyaki said.

He said what separates the developed today from other countries is the level of investments in education.

Maiyaki said every year, almost two million candidates seek admission into the universities but only between 500,000 and 700,000 students get admitted.

He said, “You need to see the anguish and the frustration on the faces of families who are desperate to make sure that their children attend university education every admission session. It is very tough and challenging for university leaders and NUC and so we have no choice but to continue to approve the universities.

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“The approval for two more varsities to bring the number of universities in the country to 272 has been concluded and will be announced next week.”

He maintained that Nigeria will continue to widen universities’ access by approving more universities to meet its demands and supply of quality education.

While noting that countries like Brazil, Indonesia and others who have a population not up to Nigeria have more than 1,000 universities, he said efforts were ongoing to reposition the university system through transnational education by allowing foreign varsities to come in and operate in the country.

The Executive Secretary said the commission is presently processing applications for the establishment of distance learning centres that will be monitored to provide quality education.

The NUC boss, however, stressed that it does not mean the era of establishing distance learning centres is back.

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Reacting to a statement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission inviting proprietors of private universities and other institutions of higher learning in Nigeria to charge fees in dollars, he said no tertiary institutions is allowed to charge tuition fees in dollars.

He said the commission had made an inquiry into the allegation and thus investigated but discovered that the said private university was not charging fees in dollars.

“On the dollarisation of tuition fees in this said university, we have investigated it and the university is not charging fees in dollars.

They only charge dollars to foreign students. So I want the media to join hands with us to tell the public that no Nigeria university is allowed to charge fees in dollars,” he said.

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