Funmi Olaitan, Ibadan
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Wednesday came hard on Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, berating him for what it called his lie that professor in universities in Nigeria earn same salary of N500,000 as him or even more.
It would be recalled that Mr Fayemi while speaking with journalists in Paris, France, said the present strike action embarked upon by ASUU was needless as President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has done more for education than any other previous government.
But ASUU in a swift reaction through its University of Ibadan chapter Chairman, Mr. Deji Omole, said the education policy of the present government in the country has brought disaster to the education sector.
Omole in a release issued in Ibadan, said education budget before Mr Buhari took over power in 2015 was above 10 per cent, stating that his administration has worsened this by retrogressive allocation that took 2018 education budget to six per cent.
He maintained that the union will not like to be distracted in its struggle for the revitalisation of public education by “political opportunists” like Fayemi.
While challenging Fayemi to publish salary and allowances that he collects monthly to back up transparency and accountability claims of the ruling party, he noted that no newly promoted professor earns N500,000 a month.
Omole noted that a newly promoted professor in Nigerian Universities earns below N400,000 and will only be able to receive N500,000 monthly after ten years of becoming a professor and this includes all allowances.
According to him, the union will be happy if Mr Buhari during his many diaspora trips will be able to attract any foreign scholar with the wages being paid Nigerian lecturers.
He said, “It is sad that someone living on state resources with his family and countless aides with juicy salaries will not be circumspect in thought. Fake news and propaganda have been the trade mark of ruling APC. Fayemi’s utterances revealed the mental state of those ruling us. We challenge him to publish what a university professor earns as salaries and allowances and what governors earn and allowances. If lecturers earn more than governors why did Fayemi run away?
"ASUU has not made monetary issue the main issue of its agitations but her members are entitled to allowances owed them since 2010. We are more concerned with a revitalised university that is adequately funded to attract foreign scholars. Fayemi should attract an international professor and offer to pay him $1500 per month and let us see how many of them he can bring to Nigeria.
"A person who bought nomination form for N22.5million to become governor and spent billions to campaign with his party listed among those who bought votes, Fayemi should tell lies to his partymen who are not discerning. Fayemi with his PhD should tell the world how much he spent on capital grants to EKSU during his first sojourn in office. EKSU as it is now is more of tetfund university which was a product of ASUU struggle.
"He should rather be grateful to ASUU for the regular bailout from tetfund. Fayemi is one of the brain drain the struggle is trying to address because if the university learning environment are conducive enough, Fayemi would have stayed in the academia rather than playing politics of destruction. Nigerians should asked him why he failed to pick up the appointment offered him as an associate lecturer by university of ibadan Senate."