ASUU laments poor economy, low education budget

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said successive governments have surrendered Nigeria to Europe, America and Asia since 1976, which was responsible for the “continued depletion of the economy.”

It added that others controlling Nigerians were the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank and World Trade Organisation.

ASUU added that policies on enhanced quality, access and affordability of education at all levels had been abandoned.

ASUU stated these in a communique issued at the end of its national summit at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, with the theme, ‘Nigeria: The state of the nation,’ organised by its Bauchi Zone.

The communique which was signed by the coordinator of ASUU (Bauchi Zone), Prof. Lawan Abubakar; and Convener, Local Organising Committee), Dr Oladimeji Lawal, was obtained by The PUNCH in Abuja on Monday.

The communique reads, “The summit observed that the policies on enhanced quality, full government provisioning, access and affordability of education at all levels, captured and clearly envisioned in the National Policy on Education (1976), had been systematically abandoned by successive ruling class governments (military and civilian) since the late 1970s when our “rulers” surrendered the sovereignty of our country to IMF and the World Bank.

“They also abandon the patriotic vision of the Second National Development Plan on which the 1976 NPE was pivoted. This systematic subversion of the possibilities of the said vision also underlies the equivocations and non-justiciability of the right to education and other social welfare rights codified in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“All patriots, especially the victims of the various manifestations of the current crises of Nigeria, must organise to restore the sovereignty of the masses of Nigeria’s working people – the sovereignty of our country Nigeria.

“Most of the debilitating economic and social policies of Nigeria’s governments are dictated and enforced by international economic and financial forces like IMF, World Bank, AfDB and WTO, which are controlled by foreign powers in Europe, America and Asia.”

The summit also criticised what it described as the “definitive, sad, and systematic decay” of the nation’s educational facilities and “the deliberate and progressive decline in the annual budgetary allocations to education in the last two decades or so.”

ASUU said, “The combined effect of reduced funding of public educational institutions on one hand, and the commercialisation and privatisation of education on the other, had impacted negatively on the conditions of service of all categories of workers in the education sector, especially in private schools and universities where workers are receiving slave wages.”

The summit called on workers, unions and organisations to intensify collaborative efforts towards protecting and improving both their conditions of service and improved public funding of the education sector.

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