Dogara Appeals To ASUU To Reconsider Dialogue Over Strike

From Segun Babatunde in Bauchi

Apparently disturbed by the current face off between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which has heightened with a possible strike action in the offing, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara has appealed to the Government and ASUU to find other means of resolving dispute other than strikes.

Similarly, he decried the spate of approvals and licensing of private universities across the country, lamenting that the prospective university students cannot afford the exhorbitant fees charged by the private universities.

The member representing Bogoro/ Dass/ Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency made the appeal weekend while speaking at the Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State during the 11th Convocation and 14th Foundation Anniversary.

According to him, “This 11th Convocation of Achievers University, Owo, is a ripe occasion to appeal to the Government and Association of Universities workers, to find other means of resolving disputes other than strikes. Our public universities are seriously affected by incessant strikes and threats of it”.

“Are there no other ways of resolving disputes between the workers and the Government?”, he queried, appealing to the Federal Government and ASUU to find other means of resolving dispute other than strikes.

The immediate Speaker who lamented over the proliferation of Universities in the country also decried the high cost of private universities.

“The National Universities Commission must be quick to have a recess, a break for a period of time to allow the very large number of private universities already licensed to mature. I am reliably informed that there are 202 Universities in Nigeria, out of which the Federal government owns 49; the 36 State governments own 54, while the rest 99 universities, including Achievers University, are promoted by private initiatives,he stated..

Dogara who is also the Chancellor of Achievers University said “Many of the newly established private universities are still struggling to find their feet; not because there are no prospective university students JAMB’s pool, but we would be shying away from the reality if we fail to realize that very many of the applicants cannot afford the fees charged by private universities. So many prospective university students would rather wait for a few years to benefit from public university rather than exploit the vast opportunity available in private universities”.

According to him, “We must however acknowledge the great jobs the private universities are doing for those who can afford it, and for assisting the government in stemming the tide of educational tourism. Hitherto, many Nigerian youths were found in very great numbers in many universities across the globe, particularly in West African Countries. In the last 21 years, with the advent of private universities in Nigeria, the story has changed for good”.

While commending the University Proprietor, Governing Council, Management and Senate on the great transformation the university has witnessed within the short period of its establishment,he stated that “The signs are clear that the stakeholders are prudent and focused”.

To the graduands, the immediate Speaker,congratulated them both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels for the great transformation they have experienced in the University, saying that “It is the expectation of the university, the nation and your loved ones that you will justify the effort that had been put into this transformation process by adding value to products you make and services you render as you march forward in your life journey”.

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