The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Lagos Zone has urged caution on the part of Federal and State Governments on the re-opening of tertiary institutions across the country.
It warned of consequences if the Government refuses to take necessary precautions before the planned re-opening schools.
The Zonal Coordinator of ASUU Lagos, Prof. Olusoji Sowande said during a press conference at Olabisi Onabanjo University that the government provided bail out funds for other sectors in the society and abandoned the education sector.
According to the Union, the physical facilities on ground in most public universities cannot accommodate the social distancing rules required for re-opening.
The Zonal Coordinator said;
“The response of the public universities to the call by the National University Commission for their readiness to reopen indicated that public universities are not ready.”
“Presently, hostel accommodations are inadequate, no facility on the ground to carry out physical distancing in large and crowded classes, water and electricity supply are not reliable, etc.”
“Reopening tertiary institutions without taking concrete steps to address these issues would be suicidal. While the government made arrangements for special bailout funds for airline operators and other private entities, no such arrangement was made for public universities.”
“Therefore, the government should be ready to take responsibility for any possible negative consequences after the reopening of universities.”
The Zonal Coordinator also alleged that some Government officials are benefiting from ongoing strike being carried out by the union and stated that relevant authorities were being contacted to intervene.
“It seems to us that some government officials are benefiting from the prevailing situation. We demand that the OAGF must immediately remit all illegally withheld check-offs and other third party deductions with accrued interests.