The President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Biodun Ogunyemi, has vowed that the union will resist any attempt to increase tuition fees in the country’s public universities.
While speaking in an exclusive chat with Premium Times, the ASUU president also assured that the union will embark on an industrial action if the federal government fails to meet its demand on adequate funding of the institutions and payment of salaries.
He said: “We will not tolerate any attempt to increase tuition fee, we are against telling people to pay more, even the current fees, we are still fighting them, we as a body have always stood against fee increment and we will continue to stand against it.”
The statement by the union leader is coming on the back of reports of a possible increase in tuition fees in universities by the federal government.
Mr Ogunyemi also stated that the union has been engaging the federal government since November 2016 on issues rocking the university system.
“The truth is there are lots of issues rocking the system. We have made our position known to the federal government; we have also written to state governments who have refused to give subvention to their universities,” he said.
“Some of them cannot sustain one university and they go on to establish two or three, compounding the issues.
“We have given the government till June ending to attend to our needs, if the government does not call us by June ending we will convey a meeting to take our position.
“However, we are trying to engage the government but if they don’t invite us to a meeting before June ending, we will still take our position on whether we are going on strike or not.
“But that will not be like early July but middle or late July, that is if they don’t heed to our demands which includes payment of salaries, funding, research and lots more”.
When asked if ASUU would initiate a meeting with the federal government, he said “We will not initiate any meeting if they don’t call us, we can’t initiate meeting.”