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Post-UTME Crisis – ASUU Blast FG On education backwardness in Nigeria

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ABUJA —THE Academic Staff Union of
Universities, ASUU, yesterday accused the
Federal Government of being responsible for the
backwardness of education in the country which
had affected its global rating.
ASUU lamented that instead of the budgetary
allocation to improve, it was only reducing and
called on the government to commence the
process for the payment of N623 billion, being
backlog of earned academic allowances and
funding of universities.
National President of ASUU, Comrade Biodun
Ogunyemi, while briefing journalists in Abuja, also
kicked against the proposed plan by the federal
government to scrap the post-University
Matriculation Tertiary Examination, saying the
Joint Admission and Matriculations Board, JAMB,
could not admit students for universities.
He frowned on the alleged continuous breach of
various Memorandum of Understanding, MoU,
signed between the government and ASUU
between 2009 and 2015, adding that the Federal
Government was in arrears of N495 billion as at
the first quarter of 2016, in respect of the
NEEDS assessment fund for the revitalisation of
public universities.
He further accused the Federal Government of
failing to disburse the outstanding balance of
N65,833,047,372.24 (2009-2013), in addition to
N62,417,645,224.23 (2014-2016) amounting to
N128,250,692,596.47 as contained in the report
of the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement
implementation Committee, IMC.
Ogunyemi warned against undue and further
delay in the implementation of various
agreements signed between both parties.
ASUU strongly condemned the decision by the
federal government to scrap the conduct of
POST-UME, saying the decision did not serve the
interest of Nigerians and that the university
tertiary matriculation examination, UTME,
conducted by JAMB is not credible enough to
warrant the cancellation of the post UTME tests.
Ogunyemi said the action by government was
typical of its current lukewarm attitude towards
the spirit and letters of the FGN/ASUU
agreement of 2009, vowing that the union as an
important stakeholder in the university system
will continue to draw the attention of all
concerned to possible threat to peaceful
development and growth of the Nigerian
Education System.
He said: ”We consider it appalling that no
consultation with stakeholders especially with
ASUU and the Vice Chancellors was held before
such far reaching national policy like the
cancellation of Post Ume was pronounced.
“In a fundamental way, the policy undermines
the autonomy of universities and powers of
universities’ senate as the highest policy making
body on academic matters, particularly admission
of students and award of university degrees.”
The ASUU boss further questioned the veracity
of the claim by the Education Minister Malam
Adamu Adamu that ‘’the nation has confidence in
what JAMB is doing” and that as a result of this,
tertiary institutions do not need to conduct
further tests towards admitting students UTME
candidates, saying even a former Minister of
education, Mrs Chinwe Obaji, in 2005 questioned
the credibility of most JAMB high fliers, who
even though they scored as high as 280
performed abysmally low in the post ume
exercise.

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