The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has alleged that Nigerians spend at least N1.6 trillion every year as tuition fee to schools outside the country.
President Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke stated this during a meeting of the Central working committee of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja on Wednesday.
The meeting, which had in attendance all Presidents and General Secretaries of all affiliate unions of the NLC, was convened to deliberate on the state of education in Nigeria among other issues.
Osodeke, who lamented the education system was fast deteriorating and falling from global standards, expressed pains that such a humongous amount could have helped to address majority of the crisis in the Nigerian University System (NUS) that has continued to flare industrial disharmony.
He said: “Let’s work on the system in such a way that if it works our university can compete with any other university in the world in terms of staff and students.
“When you go to other universities, even in Benin Republic, you have multiple people from different countries at the university with multiple ideas but in Nigeria we have refused to even look at the states; we have 90 per cent of staff from the state and that’s the problem we’re having.
“No foreign student is coming in here, so many of our Nigerian students are moving abroad.
“A report earlier this year by the Central Bank stated that Nigerians spend N1.6trn every year to pay school fees outside. That money could revamp this system if we allow it to work. So those are the major reasons why we are on strike.”
Reacting to the recent comments by Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige that he had done what many could not do to forestall strikes by ASUU, Osodeke accused the Minister of destroying the University system under his watch.
He said: “What has he (Ngige) done? How many universities in Nigeria do we have today that can attract students from outside the country?
“During his (Ngige’s) tenure, the Nigerian University has been reduced to nothing. I give you an example, the university is an autonomous community. There is no university in the world where lecturers’ salaries are paid from a ministry but today if the Vice Chancellor sees a very high class professor he wants to employ he has to go to the office of the Head of Service to get permission.
“That is the meanest thing that happened to us and he said he has done something. What has he done? He has destroyed the system.”
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