- The Academic Staff Union of Universities has raised an alarm that public universities are not ready to reopen
- The union warned that it would be suicidal to reopen tertiary institutions without steps to curb the spread of COVID-19
- Prof. Olusiji Sowande, the coordinator of the Lagos Zone of ASUU made the discloure on Monday, August 31
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Despite the National Universities Commission (NUC) asking the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to prepare for resumption according to COVID-19 safety protocols, the union has raised an alarm that tertiary institions are not ready.
The coordinator of the Lagos Zone of ASUU, Prof. Olusiji Sowande who revaeled this on Monday, August 31, warned that if steps to curb the spread of the viral disease is not taken it would be “suicidal” for universities to resume
According to The Nation, Prof. Sowande addressing reporters at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Ago-Iwoye, Ogun state, said no concrete steps had been taken by the government in any of the public universities to safeguard the health of its members and students should intitutions resume.
Olusiji went on to note that hostel accommodation are currently inadequate for students, adding that there are no facilities on ground to carry out social distancing in large and crowded classes.
The union also warned that the federal government should be ready for the negative consequences following its plan to reopen Nigerian univeristies.
He said: “The response of the public universities to the call by the National Universities Commission for their readiness to reopen indicated that public universities are not ready.
“Reopening tertiary institutions without taking concrete steps to address these issues would be suicidal. While government made arrangements for special bailout funds for airline operators and other private entities, no such arrangement was made for public universities.”
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the minister of state for education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, assured students that universities across the nation will resume very soon as the pressure on the federal government to reopen tertiary institutions continues to grow.
Nwajiuba disclosed this on Monday, August 24, while responding to questions at the Presidential Task Force briefing in Abuja.
Though the minister did not announce any specific date for resumption, he, however, urged all students to stop protesting and bear with the government a little bit more.
He explained that the rioting needs to stop as talks are in full negotiation with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
In a related development, ASUU disclosed that it will continue its current strike if the federal government does not address its demands.
The president of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi on Saturday, August 22, justified the ongoing strike by the union. He said ASUU's demands were genuine and in the interest of the country.
Ogunyemi told stakeholders at the University of Port Harcourt that students need to show understanding because some of ASUU’s demands would favour them.
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