“We’re baffled Adamu, Ngige remain in office despite ASUU logjam” – Rafsanjani

The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, (CISLAC), Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, has bemoaned handlers of Nigeria’s education system for hanging on despite the closure of federal universities for the past six months.

Rafsanjani, who spoke at the weekend in Kano, during a journalists’ training on: “Prioritising anti-corruption and accountability issues during the upcoming 2023 elections”, declared ASUU industrial action as legitimate steps to revamp University education.

Rafsanjani said, “It is only in Nigeria that universities are closed for 6 months and people who are in charge of education are not resigning”.

He explained that “The legitimate demand by ASUU is about the quality of Education. You cannot have a university without a laboratory, a university without a facility to carry out research. In the world today, innovations in science and technology are coming from universities, and our own have become stationary. As a patriot, you don’t expect the teachers to remain unconcerned.”

The CISLAC boss lamented that “The last time ASUU enjoyed salary review was in 2009, and from 2009 to date, we all know that prices of things have skyrocketed, and for them to demand for salary review is legitimate because one school dropout who happened to be a legislature or political appointee earns a million naira, while a professor in the university learns N116, 000.”

Rafsanjani stated that “A professor who has spent 30 years in the system earns N416, 000, while one lawmaker who is probably a school dropout in the House of Representatives earns N17 million excluding other illegitimate earnings. In the Senate, it is N19m excluding other illegitimate earnings, and you say a university professor should not earn N500, 000?”

The CISLAC boss said “You cajole them; you incite the public against them. But they have a family. If the politicians and political appointees are earning much, for goodness sake, why should we look down on our teacher?”

Rafsanjani maintained that “The whole essence boils down to bastardisation of institutions. They benefitted, they enjoyed because none of them went to private schools, some of them were even given allowances they were collecting free meals; but now, you have children; you cannot afford to send them to university; because they are pushing people to go to private university. It’s not everybody that can pay school fees”.

As of today, private universities are collecting N3 million per semester; where will you get that money as a civil servant unless you are a thief”, he added.

Rafsanjani posited that: “We must understand the consequences of corruption; it has compromised our security, destroyed our health care system, and also destroyed our education and value-system. Corruption has helped to undermine our development, helped to undermine everything around us; and we are moving as if everything is alright”.

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