ASUU Decries Lack of Enabling Laws to Protect State Universities

By Okon Bassey in Uyo

Various state governments that have been establishing universities have been charged to back it up with the necessary legislations.

The Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Calabar Zone, Dr. Aniekan Brown, gave the advice while addressing journalists in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, yesterday.

The Union, he said, expressed concern on how states government established state universities without backing same with the laws.

Besides playing politics with it, the union said such portend dangers as most state governors could use it to interfere with the autonomy of the institution.

According to Brown, for most state universities to live to expectation, state governors should stop playing politics with their university system, but follow the laws as recorded in the Universities Miscellaneous Provision Amendment Act of 2012.

“This is worrying that only seven state-owned universities have their laws in conformity with the Universities Miscellaneous Provision Amendment Act of 2012, while 26 are partially compliant.

“In most of the universities, the non-demonetisation of the Act gives room for the university administrators and governors to trample on the autonomy of the universities by usurping the powers of Governing Councils and the Senate.

“Evidence of this could be gleaned from the manipulation of the composition or non-constitution of Governing Councils. For instance, the Yobe State University law stipulates a five-year single tenure but it was repealed and replaced with a four-year renewable tenure for the position of vice chancellor.

“In Eboyi State University, there is no chancellor and the state government is yet to constitute a new Governing Council since it was dissolved in

November 2020. At Enugu State University of Science and Technology, the vice chancellor has acted for 15 months.

“Currently, the autonomy of the Kaduna State University is under intense threat as it is placed under the supervision of both the state Ministry of Finance despite the existence of governing council.

“ASUU therefore calls on all concern to immediately set in motion necessary steps for the domestication of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provision Amendment) Act to allow for exercise of autonomy in these state universities in line with the national and global standards,” he stated.

Brown said another area of concern to the union is funding to state universities, pointing out that most state governors now rely on TETFUND and sometimes divert such money to establish new university.

ASUU urged state governors and university administrators that all hands should be on deck to avert impending crisis in the state owned universities.

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