Everyone around me knows that I hate to discuss problems without us proffering solution.
I made a simple tweet online, and I have been reading all kinds of reactions
I simply said “The solution to ASUU problem is very simple as far as I’m concerned, I don’t know why we’re running away from that reality.
FG & Nigerians should force ASUU to accept to be 100% INDEPENDENT from Govt.
Run your things, use any payment platform you want, pay yourselves anything!”
I have been waiting for other contributors to tell me the permanent solution to ASUU Strike, poor salary of Professors and lecturers in the Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education etc….Please tell me a PRACTICABLE solution, not THEORY. (Please check that picture of ASUU strike in 1981)
This is why it is difficult to have intellectual conversation, we are not ready for SOLUTION.
Let’s get it clear beyond emotion, Primary and secondary education is a right, tertiary education is a privilege and the children of the poor from generation to generation will always tell the story of how difficult it is to pass through tertiary education…I was not born in Lekki or VI, I perfectly went through this despite the fact that FG subsidizes tertiary education FOR NOW and TILL DATE.
What are the issues with ASUU that we are still dragging till date?
WELFARE, WORKING ENVIRONMENT, PAYMENT PLATFORM, etc….
Please take note, the present Federal Government is still tackling agreement between ASUU and the FG as far back as 2009…YES, 2-0-0-9 when Y’aradua was the President of Nigeria. If you think the solution is that simple, previous administration after Y’aradua would have settled them.
Ok, let’s check things out:
1. WELFARE: That will have something to do with salary of Lecturers at different levels and other welfare package.
Let’s for the purpose understanding assume that an average Professor in Nigeria earns N400K monthly while other lecturers earn less….
Now let us also assume that their counterparts in the UK and USA we love to benchmark Nigeria with earn ~$6,000 monthly and other lecturers earn less as expected. Converting $6,000 to Naira (an average Nigerian will do that immediately) will be like N3.5 million per month for a Professor in the SANER CLIME…Good!
Here’s the issue with what I just did up there, Nigeria does not spend dollar as their currency and America doesn’t spend Naira as theirs.
A professor in Nigeria will spend an maximum of N1,000 to take care of his hair in the barbing salon, N1,000 is 0.25% of N400,000.
A professor in USA will spend an average of $50 to take care of his hair in the barbing salon, $50(N25,000) is 0.8% of $6,000. What does this mean? By first converting $6,000 monthly payment earned in the USA by a Professor, you have created a FALSE EQUIVALENCE and false narrative. A Professor in the USA is not spending N1000 ($2) of his earning on haircut and a Professor in Nigeria is not spending $50(N25,000) of his earning on haircut. This is the first problem of taking issues at the face value without contextualizing them.
What’s my 2nd take on this WELFARE problem? If we are insisting that a lecturer in Nigeria must be earning EXACT equivalent of what their counterparts are earning in the UK/USA/CANADA, I think that’s a fantastic proposal that everyone should agree with. The only problem is that we should also accept the other side of the same coin which is, Tuition fee in Higher Institution of learning in Nigeria should also be the EXACT equivalent of what students pay in the UK/USA/CANADA. It is very easy to check, ask anyone presently studying but at home because of ASUU strike how much he/she pays per session and check out how much that same Course is worth per session in any University in the UK/CANADAN/USA. You see that the solution is simple, we are the ones that are running away from that reality. No need to go on strike, ASUU and Nigerians should push for this permanent and PRACTICABLE solution.
2. WORKING ENVIRONMENT:
Good and conducive working and learning environment is for the benefit of all of us you know. It is a legitimate demand. But are you aware that many Private Tertiary Institutions of learning in Nigeria are also facing the same thing? Have you ever heard any Lecturer in the Private University going on strike based on this legitimate demand? Why do you think they don’t do that? They know the immediate consequences of their actions if they do that. Your employer isn’t owing you and you are going on strike because of “working environment”? Not in Private sector…It will not happen. Even the ones they’re still owing till date in Private Universities are still not going on strike let alone hoping to collect salary for work not done while on strike.
The Solution is simple: FG should hands off and allow each University and Polytechnic create their own working environment to taste. Yes, I am talking of giving them 100% AUTONOMY.
3. PAYMENT PLATFORM: I have never worked with Government be it at the State or Federal level, I’ve been in private sectors since 2005. In my life, I have never seen where the employees DICTATE to their employers the platform of payment. So this issue of “we are not using IPPIS, we have our own UTAS platform that must be used” is very illogical to me. Some of you supporting this view of ASUU are not being sincere with your reality. Just imagine your workers insisting that you cannot dictate the Bank through which you want to pay their salary…THINK ABOUT IT!
Your employer said “I am paying you through IPPIS” you are insisting “we your employees have created UTAS platform and you must accept that or nothing”…What kind of joke is this?
Don’t think IPPIS has any problem, it is just a platform, the problem is with NIGERIANS working in that office in Abuja and other places, not the platform. They are the ones not remitting deducted “Coorperative loans” to the appropriate place, not the platform. They are the ones that keep calling people in different MDAs to have a “deal” with them before they can add “something” to their IPPIS platform, no the platform. There’s nothing special or peculiar about lecturers package that IPPIS or any other platform cannot accommodate if the EMPLOYER sees the legitimacy of such request, let’s not make it sound as though robots and drones are not PROGRAMMED & REPROGRAMMED to handle issues based on demand and reality of the moment.
I work on Biometric payment platforms a lot, I have seen the backend codes of some and how things were edited times and times again to accommodate present realities of workers to take care of SPECIFIC needs of each firm based on their realities, stop acting as though we are all illiterates. There is no logic that will make a worker insisting that he’s the one to dictate the platform of payment to the employer. No need to even argue this, the employer should give the workers 100% AUTONOMY to do their things since they want to dictate the platform of payment.
Don’t air me, If we want our education to run exactly the way we see it in the SANER CLIME, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, let us simply check how they run it there, adopt it based on our own reality and move on once and for all.
Government should give them 100% autonomy to dictate everything, generate your own income, dictate your own welfare package, dictate your working environment…In fact, arrange monthly vacation package in Dubai for the best lecturers monthly.
“But how will the common man afford it”? How are the common men affording same in the SANER CLIMES we love to quote? You want solution or you no want solution? “But Politicians are earning so much”…..It’s true, resign and join Politicians so as to enjoy their package, this conversation is about Education. Go and join Politicians!
It’s time to face present reality and stop day dreaming, no Government will ever meet the demand of ASUU and ASUP…It’s a waste of time now, it will be a waste of time afterward if we still keep the same format. Student loan should be introduced the same way it is done in the SANER CLIMES. Oops, ASUU already rejected Student Loan bill in February 2022!
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