THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to go on strike if the federal government relents on its current drive to reform the sector.
The union which recently commended the efforts of the Federal Government in addressing the challenges facing University education in the country so far however warned that the Union would not hesitate to go back to the trenches if the government relapses “on its current outlook” in tackling the dwindling fortunes of university system in Nigeria.
New President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Isa said made this remark when he led a team of former leadership and other members of executive on courtesy call on the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Professor Mahmood Yakubu in Abuja.
Nasir who was accompanied by the immediate past ASUU President, Comrade Ukachukwu Awuzie and Awuzie’s predecessor, Abdullahi Sule Kano.
There has been relative peace in the University System base on the cogent efforts of the present Administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in full implementation of the FGN/ASUU 2009 Agreement.
Apart from restricting the intervention of TETFund to tertiary education, the Federal Government, according to ASUU has shown genuine commitment to the demands of the Union as contained in the agreement.
Dr. Isa noted that ASUU as an intellectual organization, believes in dialogue and until that is exhausted, strike would not be the next option.
He assured on adequate collaboration with the Federal government to ensure that the University is repositioned to compete favourably with other universities in the world, stressing that no country could develop effectively without education.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Yakubu, noted that the agency has taken steps to address the critical challenge of the dearth of qualified lecturers in the Nigeria University System.
He revealed that about 624 university lecturers sent for postgraduate training in overseas have completed their programmes and return to the country to boost the manpower in the system.
Besides, he said about 5, 800 other university teachers are currently undergoing postgraduate training both at home and overseas being sponsored by TETFund.