Strike Warning: ASUU-FUGA Decries Unfunded Universities, Wage stagnation

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the Federal University of Gashua (FUGA) Chapter, has threatened strike action if the federal government fails to address critical issues in the university system.

Dr. Abatcha Melemi, ASUU-FUGA Chairperson, highlighted these concerns during a press briefing in Damaturu on Thursday.

He accused the government of neglecting core issues that triggered the lengthy 2022 strike.

Melemi outlined several grievances, including chronic underfunding, stagnant wages for academic staff, and the proliferation of public universities without proper financial backing.

“Our universities are in desperate need of revitalization. We face inadequate infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms, and poorly equipped labs and libraries,” Dr. Melemi said.

He explained how insufficient government funding forced universities to raise fees, disproportionately impacting students from low-income backgrounds.

Furthermore, Dr. Melemi emphasized the unfulfilled 2009 agreement on improved working conditions for academic staff.

He criticized the government’s inaction on recommendations from committees tasked with resolving the issue, leaving university staff stuck with outdated salary structures.

Melemi particularly condemned the establishment of new public universities, especially by state governments.

He labeled these institutions as “constituency projects” – created for political gain without proper funding plans.

Dr. Melemi stressed that ASUU’s fight goes beyond their members’ benefits, saying it’s about the very essence of quality higher education in Nigeria.

He implored the public to recognize the fact and amplify their calls for the government to address these critical issues to prevent another crippling strike.

Melemi acknowledged the economic hardship facing Nigerians and cautioned that the government’s inaction could fuel further unrest.

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