President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke has expressed worry over what it termed bureaucratic attack of Nigerian universities by federal government.
Osodeke stated this on Wednesday at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State during foundation laying of her ASUU NAU Guest House and appreciation of former EXCO and retired members.
He described as anomaly government’s undue interference of universities’ administrations, including usurping of powers of Councils, appointments and salary payments of staff members.
He commended the ASUU NAU for recognizing its retired members who had fought and struggled with the union during their service year, describing the honor accorded them as historic.
He said, “Our universities are under serious attack by the bureaucrats. Funny enough, many of our Vice Chancellors and Councils are dancing in that direction.
“Every university has a way it is governed. At the peak is the visitor who appoints Committee called Council which runs the finances and administrative sector of the university.
“The law stipulates that any circular from the Ministry not in tandem with the law is null. So staff appointment, salary payments are resident with the university and not the ministry.
“But when you check, salary has been taken to IPPIS against the rules. But thank God the last industrial court judgment declared it illegal.”
Osodeke however expressed optimism of sharp departure as well as improved working relationship between the union and government under the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.
“We’re trying to meet with the President to ensure harmony, industrial peace and cordial relationship with the government where nobody with bad blood will lord it over the universities.
“He needs to set up a team of experts to meet with ASUU leadership and negotiate with her to ensure all loopholes that will lead to industrial action are blocked,” he added.
Earlier, Chairperson, Comrade Stephen Ufoaroh said the guest house project, the second phase of ASUU NAU Secretariat Complex was to provide accommodation for conference attendees, researchers and other visitors to the institution.
He said the facility would also serve as income generating avenue for the chapter as well as create employment for jobless youths.
He appreciated the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone for approving land for construction of the building, Directors of Physical Planning and Works Services for their solidarity, as well as Building Committee members for their sacrifices and professionalism.