By Francis Sardauna
The Sokoto Zonal chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has kicked against calls for the reopening of Nigerian universities by some critical stakeholders in the country.
The union, citing unresolved COVID-19 pandemic issues and poor funding from the federal government, insisted that the nation’s universities are not safe for reopening.
ASUU Zonal Coordinator, Sokoto Zone, Mr. Jamilu Shehu, disclosed this on Thursday at a press conference at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina.
The Sokoto zonal office of ASUU comprises Federal University Dutsin-ma; Usumanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina; Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero and Sokoto State University.
He said if the federal government reopens the institutions, it should be held responsible if anything negative happens to the students.
He said: “It is far from the truth to say that universities cannot fulfil the conditions laid down by the government for their reopening. With the hotels and lecture rooms choked up with students how do you practise social distancing?
“How many universities in Nigeria have running water in the campuses? The private universities that are clamouring for reopening of schools, what percentage of students do they have compared to public universities?”
He, however, lamented what he termed the fraudulent practices committed by some vice-chancellors, which he said, has compromised academic standards and subverting university ethics.
Consequently, he called on the National Universities Commission (NUC) as the regulating body to immediately investigate the activities of the vice-chancellors.
He said: “With the winding down of Covid-19 lockdown, ASUU calls on the NUC as the regulator of the universities to take immediate steps to investigate all fraudulent practices committed by overzealous VCs who have compromised academic standards and subverting university ethics.”