Committee Of Pro-Chancellors Appeal To ASUU To Shelve Strike Action

Chairman, Committee of Pro Chancellors of State-owned Universities in Nigeria, Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Ali (SAN), has appealed to the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to shelve planned strike action aimed at pressing for their demands with the federal government, in the interest of the nation’s educational system and future of the concerned students.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Thursday during the official handing over ceremony of 10,000 exercise books by the Yusuf Olaolu Ali Foundation to the Osun state government, the legal icon and educationist, said that, “this is not the best of times for our educational system to be put in a coma”, based on implications of strike actions.

“As Chairman, Committee of Pro Chancellors of State-owned Universities, with 48 members, I should know that this is not the best of times for our educational system to be put in a coma. What do I mean? I want to appeal to the leadership of ASUU and its members to have a larger look at the implications of all these strikes, not only on our standard of education but on the acceptability of our certificates outside of our country.

“Anybody who follows closely issues of university ranking, one of the greatest criteria used is the stability of educational calendar, which we have been missing for years in our country.

“So, I want to appeal as a parent, a citizen and as an educationist, that ASUU should pursue other methods to get whatever is their rights from the governments, knowing fully well that it is common knowledge that Nigerian economy is in a doldrum and that Nigeria has too many unsatisfied social interventions be it in infrastructure, health, even water supply. This type of strike leads to more problems than offering solutions.

“I also want to appeal to the government not to ever enter into any agreement they know they don’t have the wherewithal to see through. Government should not at any point succumb to social pressure to agree to things they don’t have the capacity to accomplish. Government should also look at whatever they can do to ameliorate the condition of our academic and our tertiary institutions generally, which calls attention to the stark reality that no government can fund education all by itself. I’m speaking from experience being a Pro-Chancellor of Osun State University for six years. I know what it takes to navigate a very turbulent ocean of payment of salaries, emolument in the face of dwindling public resources”, he said.

According to the founder of the Yusuf Olaolu Ali Foundation, the foundation established in 2009 had taken practical steps in its different areas of intervention to ease the plight of the poor.

“In the area of healthcare, for instance, the foundation has built a Trauma Center, a Renal Dialysis Center, renovated a part of a General hospital and assists over 600 patients to settle hospital bills within and outside of Nigeria over the years.

‘In education, the Foundation awards annual scholarships to a Specified number of students in Ilorin and lfetedo. It has also built an E-Resource Center, E-Library and hostels in several higher institutions of learning in the country. It also has an annual scholarship to pay the WAEC and NECO fees of 50 indigent students of Ibadan Boys High School in Ibadan and also supports indigent law students to settle part of their Law school fees, to mention but a few.

“The choice of education, as one of the points for intervention, is understandable because education is the key to everything that is good in our world today. It is also the key to the future and helps discipline our children for the intellectual challenges of the rest of the 21st century. The Foundation has, therefore, chosen to make another form of intervention in education in the two states that form major parts of the founder’s roots (Kwara and Osun).

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