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ASUU, SSANU proffer solutions to new Education Minister, Prof Mamman on problems plaguing sector

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) on Monday, made recommendations to the new Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, on how to address the phantom issues in the education sector.

Undoubtedly, a variety of problems have dominated ASUU, SSANU, and ASUP agitations during the past few years.

Renegotiation of the 2009 agreement between the FGN, ASUU, and SSANU is one example, as is support for the revitalization of public universities.

Mamman was sworn in as the Minister of Education by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, on Monday along with other appointees.

He served as the Director General of the Nigerian Law School from 2005 to 2013 and was the Vice-Chancellor of Baze University, Abuja, a private tertiary institution established in 2011 by Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, before being appointed.

In an interview with reporters, the Vice-President of the SSANU, Dr. Abdussobor Salaam, stated that before trying to address the remaining issues, the government needs to grasp the goal and purpose of education.

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He said, “The expectation of the SSANU is that since an experienced hand in the education sector has been made Minister of Education, there should be a turnaround in the sector.

“With the appointment of Prof. Mamman, we expect that he fully understands the challenges and problems of education in Nigeria and swings into action into resolving them. The challenges in this sense should not be limited to industrial issues alone but must begin by giving a focus and objective to the education system.

“This is because the biggest challenge to the education system is that the government has not clearly understood the purpose and objective of education for the nation. If the purpose and objectives of education had been understood by government and its officials, most of the problems besetting the system would have been resolved, especially that of neglect and poor funding.”

In his reaction, ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said, “All the issues of funding university appropriation of salaries are issues the minieter should look into. He should meet with us and resolve them once and for all in the interest of our children.

“We want the government to sign our agreements and if there are issues, they should call us to negotiate. We seek payment of our seven and half month’s unpaid salary, Nigerians should tell them to pay us we covered the lost ground we have done the work they said we didn’t do. We have done the work they should pay.”

The education sector was mostly in the news in the better part of 2022 following the long strike declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on February 14 due to failure of the federal government to implement the 2009 agreement with the union and other demands bordering on welfare and infrastructures among others.

The strike which lasted for eight months grounded activities of both federal and state universities in the country.

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