By Usman Sulyman
President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, on Thursday, said the union is losing its members to private universities due to the inability of the Federal Government to meet its demands.
Ogunyemi, spoke in a television programme today in Abuja monitored by The Ravens, noting government cannot threaten the university lecturers with court action.
He said, “Talking about options, whether they want to go to court and intimidate the union to surrender. You don’t do that with scholars, no country has ever survived it because we have options too.
“We talk about brain-drain now, I can tell you authoritatively that within the last two months , 25 scholars in the North-East have been harvested by this university in Yola. We know the owner. That is how it is happening, the private universities are poaching the public universities now because they can only thrive when the public universities crumble.
“We are also aware that some few months back, Ethiopia came to Nigeria, and harvested as many as 200 professors and they are still looking for more. I don’ t know if the government wants their appointees to start teaching the students. Of course, many of them don’t have their children in public universities, that is why they cannot feel it. Our scholars are our national assets and we should not allow them to be decimated.”
Speaking further, the ASUU president said the union would resist any attempt by the Federal Government to elongate the process of the integrity test being conducted on the software of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) proposed by the union.
Ogunyemi also said contrary to a statement credited to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige on Tuesday, the integrity test being conducted on UTAS would take one week if the government “is conscientious about the process.”