By Segun Adebiyi
All things being equal, members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, in the next couple of weeks, will be smiling to their various banks to collect salaries for the five months they did not work. That is in addition to the contraption called Earned Allowance, where teachers collect pay for marking scripts and supervising students’ projects! That can only happen in Nigeria.
Majority of these same lecturers will only come to class two or three times in a semester, demand sex for marks (some even tell the female students to book hotels at their own expense), brown envelopes for mark boosting, mismanage their institutions’ IGRs (VCs were once ASUU members), among other crimes against the very children we ask them to nurture for us.
Of course, a couple of ASUU members will tell you that they were doing research while the strike lasted. Yes, research via http://www.google.com! Let them publish the results of the research. A thorough appraisal of the quality of lecturers will show that at least half of those teaching our children now have no such intellectual capacity. What is, essentially, on parade now on our campuses is intellectual bankruptcy.
If Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie got 40 per cent salary increase for ASUU after a four-month strike in 2009, including payment for the period of the strike and Dr. Nasir Fagge got N40 billion Earned Allowance, including payment for five months that ASUU did not work, any wonder what the next ASUU president will do?
I feel personally pained that ASUU is merely deceiving the public and cheating the system just like the political class.
Other labour unions are watching with keen interest. If you collect salaries for going on strike for five months, we as well can go on strike for 10 or 12 months and then compel government to sign a non-victimisation clause, which means, according to ASUU’s dictionary, payment for the period they were on strike!
I once told my lecturer friend that he was free to resign, contest election to the Senate, so he could earn an ‘elephant salary’ a month. But with the caveat that he also risked being kidnapped or assassinated like any typical Nigerian politician. Yes, politics is big business but it’s also a big risk in Nigeria.
Yes, ASUU members, go and smile to the banks at the expense of your students who stayed at home for five months, wasted their accommodation fees, year of graduation, NYSC (service year) and went into avoidable sundry crimes. We know so many children of members of ASUU in private universities in Nigeria and abroad. Can Dr. Fagge contradict that?
It does not matter how much you pump into the varsities, the funds will still be mismanaged by former ASUU members now in management positions (and they are mismanaging everything, including elections). Will the lazy, randy, absentee and empty-brained dons give what they don’t have to their students, even if you throw a trillion naira into the varsities? Ah ah ah, rot in the education sector. Who are the profiteers?