Fee Hike: Nigerian Government Appeals for Calm as Universities Resume Classes
Jack Acheme, Abuja
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Education, Tanko Sununu has appealed to students, parents and lecturers in the nation’s institutions of higher learning to shun acts capable of disrupting the academic session as schools get set for resumption.
Sununu who made the appeal ahead of the resumption of academic activities in tertiary institutions said the show of restraint is in the interest of all stakeholders, and system stability.
The Minister spoke when the leadership of the Congress of University Academics paid him a courtesy call.
The Minister noted that his Ministry is having “constructive dialogue and consultation with stakeholders over the welfare of students, staff as well as the provision of infrastructure in tertiary institutions.”
Acknowledging that strikes and non-use of facilities could lead to rapid infrastructural decay, the Minister promised that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu would do everything humanly possible to avoid any situation that could lead to strikes.
The President of the Congress of University Academics, comrade Niyi Sunmonu alerted the Minister, that there is the likelihood of student unrest occasioned by the new increase in school fees, which he said has the potential of disrupting academic activities and the school calendar.
The union also appealed to the government to look into ways of improving the condition of service of academic and non-academic staff of universities, which he said has deteriorated due to the fuel subsidy removal.
The union reasoned that there was a need to revisit the issue of the 8-month salary arrears that arose from the last strike by the academic staff union of universities (ASUU), arguing that members of the Congress of University Academics did not go on strike.
“It must be noted, however, that all academic activities in universities were grounded throughout the period of the strike,’ he said.