The Academic Staff Union of Universities, on Monday, warned the Federal Government that any attempt to reopen tertiary institutions without deploying concerted efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 would be suicidal.
ASUU raised the alarm that the federal government should be ready to be taken responsible for any possible eventualities following its plan to reopen tertiary institutions across the country.
The Lagos Zone of ASUU made this ca while addressing journalists at a press conference held at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State.
The Lagos Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Prof. Olusiji Sowande, lamented that the government made arrangements for special bailout funds for airline operators and other private entities but did not extend the same arrangement to public universities.
He cautioned that it is not enough to have the students back on the campuses but that the atmosphere and conditions must also be right and safe.
He added that accommodations are inadequate, no facility on the ground to carry out physical distancing in large and crowded classes.
Sowande said “The response of the public universities to the call by the National University Commission for their readiness to reopen indicated that public universities are not ready.
“Presently, hostel accommodations are inadequate, no facility on the ground to carry out physical distancing in large and crowded classes, water and electricity supply are not reliable, etc.
“Reopening tertiary institutions without taking concrete steps to address these issues would be suicidal. While the government made arrangements for special bailout funds for airline operators and other private entities, no such arrangement was made for public universities.
” Therefore, the government should be ready to take responsibility for any possible negative consequences after the reopening of universities.”
While speaking on the ongoing strike, Sowande said the union had on several occasions written to relevant government agencies with a view to finding steps to putting an end to the industrial striking action. (PUNCH)