The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Tuesday presented provisional licenses to four newly approved private universities.
The universities are: Greenfield University, Kaduna; Dominion University, Ibadan, Oyo state; Trinity University Laloko, Ogun State; and Westland University Iwo, Osun-State.
The approval to establish the universities was given last month at the first Federal Executive Council meeting of the year.
According to a tweet by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Adamu was reprsented at the event by the Registrar of the Joint Admissions Management Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Olarewaju Oloyede and the Executive Secretary NUC, Professor Abubakar Rasheed
The issuance of operational licenses to new private universities at a time when public universities are currently shut down due to an ongoing strike by ASUU has angered some Nigerians, especially students and their parents.
Many on social media wondered why private universities are popping up all over the place in the midst of poor funding of the existing public ones. Top government officials in the education sector have been accused of deliberately starving the public universities to create room for private ones allegedly owned by them and their associates, to blossom.
ASUU’s official Twitter handle had tweeted an update about the issuance of the licenses and the angry reactions of followers of the handle was directed both at ASUU and the government.
Negotiations between ASUU and the Federal Government have not yielded any result and the strike is in its fourth month.
Adamu had told journalists at a briefing in Abuja on Sunday that issues which led to the industrial action by lecturers’ unions in universities and polytechnics, had been resolved, sayng that the strike may end this week.
“I expected that by now ASUU would have called off their strike because we have virtually reached agreement on all issues. So, I hope either today or tomorrow but certainly within the week, ASUU strike will be off,” he said.
ASUU has not given any indication that they plan to call off the strike although the National President of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said the union and the Federal Government had agreed on some “non-contentious” items of the agreement.
He however added that ASUU will act based on te decisions taken by members at the state levels. was not in a position to say if the strike would end today or tomorrow because the leadership of the union was still awaiting the decision of its members at state levels.
His words: “I cannot tell you if the strike will end on Thursday or not. It is what our members tell us. ASUU president doesn’t have the final say on that.
“Government has given us what it can give us and we have sent it back to our members. We are waiting for their response.
According to ASUU, the following are the issues it has with the Federal government which has necessitated the indefinite strike action.
- Refusal to honor the 2009 agreement.
- 2013 MOU; funding for the revitalization of public universities; earned academic allowances; registration of Nigerian universities pension management company and pension matters; university staff school, fractionalisation and non payment of salaries among others.