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Saturday, October 1, 2022

ASUU Strike: Nigerian Professor of Economics Hogan Ekpo Wants Governing Council To Run Universities

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By Edet Ikotidem

A Professor of economics and former vice chancellor, VC of the University of Uyo, Hogan Akpan Ekpo has suggested that government should allow the governing council of Universities to run the system.

This he said will allow for proper administrative processes since the governing council is made up of people with impeccable character.

He decried a situation where politicians who are not experienced are sent to Universities as council members as they go to make money for themselves.

He said, “they will come and tell you prof we are having elections and I will tell them that University is not a political party or NNPC, governing council is important in University autonomy but who are the people in the governing council”.

Prof of economics
Chris Ngige- Minister of Labour

The former VC said that the incentive structure in the University system is very crucial as the merger amount of money paid to lecturers is not adequate to attract anyone to enable them to carry out research and Community service.

Prof. Akpan Ekpo said a situation where the post-NYSC member is allowed to lecture year two students in a University is unacceptable noting that no matter one’s degree, a lecturer should be allowed a maximum of four years before being staffed in the system.

“I think the government made a mistake in the late 1980s when there was a brain drain, instead of them, correcting the system, they just employed everybody into the system, because you teach what know and am saying as someone whose entire life has been in the University system,” the VC said”.

The professor said no country in the world develops faster than the manpower institutions, and that what Nigeria is experiencing is a result of the crisis in higher institutions.

Professor of economics
adamu Adamu- Minister of Education

“We don’t want to be like Ghana where schools were shot for two years asking foreign students to pay fees in dollars. Nigerians in Ghanaian Universities are not in good universities, they are in the mushroom Universities and paying an average of seven thousand US dollars,” how many of them are in the University of Cape Coast, very few”.

He said the ASUU strike is an aftermath of an agreement signed between the parties which have not been implemented.

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He noted that most Unions are interested in the welfare of their members adding that if not for ASUU, the University system would have collapsed a long time ago because the government does not show interest in the University system.

This he said, there must be a visitation panel to these Institutions to find out if government funding has been well utilized.

Prof. Ekpo expressed dissatisfaction with the way money from TETFUND is being used saying that is it only recently that research has been receiving funding from the body.

He said ASUU is also contesting the issue of IPPIS, software developed by someone outside Nigeria being paid in US dollars adding that there was nothing wrong with the old system of payment.
He condemned a situation where the government will employ a lecturer and send him to Universities without the knowledge of the schools and without being interviewed by the school’s system.


Professor of economics
ASUU PRESIDENT Emmanuel Osuboke

Prof. Ekpo who was speaking with journalists in Uyo said the IPPIS has made the University system have a civil service structure which he said is wrong.

“University system whether in the United States or United King is not strictly run by the government; it has its unique features, you don’t start a University as if you are starting a Primary School for a village, there are too many Universities now at the federal level, is like every State wants a federal University, the ones you have, you can’t run them properly, you are starting new ones,” prof Ekpo said.

He said by the time Nigerian University problems are solved, it will become a global system where foreign lecturers will teach.

Prof. Ekpo said the government should reset the system for seriousness and that government and ASUU must shift grounds to end the strike.

He encouraged the government to give grants to students who are brilliant as well as pay school fees to the poor ones.




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