15th December, 2011
The Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has urged the Federal Government to implement to the letter the agreement it enteredÂ with the Academic Staff Union ofÂ Nigerian Universities, ASUU, in 2009 on how to address the issue of decay of educational infrastructure in higher institutions.
This was part of the decisions taken at the monthly general meeting of the Council held at the Ladi Lawal Press Centre, Alausa , Ikeja in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, just as it urged the President to sack the nation’s security chiefs if they could not curb the growing level of insecurity in the country.
In a communiquÃ© signed by the Lagos NUJ Chairman, Deji Elumoye and Secretary , Sylva Okereke ,Â the union saidÂ allowing ASUU to go on strike since 5 December over the outstandingÂ issue which ought to have been laid to rest showed that the Federal Governmet was not serious about tacklingÂ the rot in the nation’s educational sector .
Lagos NUJ said it was disheartening that negotiations with ASUU which were concluded in 2009 were yet to be implemented even though the agreement wasÂ freely entered into.
The communiquÃ© added thatÂ government is dragging its feet over an agreement on the funding of universities and revitalizing other infrastructural deficits in the educational system.
ASUU is currently at loggerheads with the government over sustained massive funding of education, including allocation of a minimum of 26 per cent of the annual budget of government to education, condition of service, university autonomy and academic freedom.
OnÂ insecurity in the country, the Lagos NUJ said the alarming rate of insecurity in the nation called for serious concern.
It therefore called for a complete overhaul of the nation’s security network, adding that the activities of ethnic militias like Boko Haram, Odua Peopleâ€™s Congress and the Niger Delta militants should be addressed with utmost urgency.
â€œIt is disturbing to see how the Niger Delta Militants blocked the Lokoja-Abuja road recently and the OPC going on a shooting spree in Lagos as well as the bombing in the northern parts of the country.
“We are calling on the federalÂ government to take drastic action. If those in the top echelon of the countryâ€™s security fail to curtail this trend, the President should act fast by sacking them forthwith,â€ it stated.
â€” Kazeem Ugbodaga