21st May, 2014
The Lagos State House of Assembly, western Nigeria, will resolve all lingering crises facing the state-owned university, LASU, the Speaker of the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has said.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, branch of the institution, had on Monday embarked on an indefinite strike over some demands that it said the state government was yet to meet.
Ikuforiji, while expressing disenchantment with the crises facing the university, however said he was happy with the recent rating of the Law Faculty of the 30-year old university as the best in Africa and 14th in the world, stressing that this was the outcome of government effort to sanitise the institution.
The Speaker, while addressed members of the executive of LASU Alumni Association, who were in the House to seek the intervention of the lawmakers in the crises confronting the university, said the government was not relenting in its responsibilities to the institution.
“I believe in what belongs to my family. LASU is the institution I can call mine. We were happy when the then government of Alhaji Lateef Jakande created the school many years back because it is a university we can call our own. I ensured that my daughter attended LASU even when I was a lecturer in the United States of America in the 1990s. It is now surprising that we do not have peace in LASU that has produced eminent people that are doing well in their chosen professions.
“We didn’t know that the alumni association of LASU has been making efforts to resolve the problems affecting the institution,” he said.
Recalling the role of the House to resolve the challenges facing LASU, the Speaker said it was the House that convinced the National Universities Commission, NUC, against de-accrediting some courses in the institution.
“We had to send a delegation led by the current Deputy Speaker of the House, Taiwo Kolawole, to NUC office in Abuja when the NUC de-accredited eight courses in the institution, and even promised to come back there in two weeks to de-accredit more courses.
“Our intervention worked as the NUC Secretary was impressed with our intervention. We later approved a sum of N3 billion for development purposes in the school,” he said.
The Speaker however, added that a visitation panel set up by Governor Babatunde Fashola later recommended increase in the fees being paid by the students of the school, which the House approved, but which has also led to many crises in the university.
In his speech, the Chairman of the Governing Board of LASU Alumni Association, Mr. Fatai Sonoiki, said the association had made concerted efforts to solve the problems facing the school including convincing various labour unions in the school not to go on strike.
He said that the association decided to run to the Assembly to prevent the lecturers and other unions in the institution from embarking on an indefinite strike
“The incessant strike actions in LASU are affecting the image of the school. We want the authority to do something about the strike actions by the labour unions in the school. The House can call a meeting of LASU Governing Council led by the Pro-Chancellor, the school authorities led by the Vice-Chancellor and the unions in the university. The alumni association too can be invited to the meeting. The goal is to find a lasting solution to the instability in the school,” he pleaded.