Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (Asuu) has berated Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi for saying lecturers’ welfare had improved under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The Ekiti governor apparently provoked the lecturers when he said that the Buhari government had done more for tertiary education in Nigeria than the previous governments.

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Fayemi made the comments in Paris during Buhari’s interactive session with Nigerians living in France.

He was speaking against the backdrop of the ongoing nationwide strike by Asuu.

Faulting Asuu for going on strike, Fayemi said most professors in Nigerian universities earn N500,000 monthly like him as a governor.

But the the union’s chapters at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, and University of Ibadan, on Wednesday, warned Fayemi to steer clear of Asuu affairs.

In a statement by its chairman Dr. Bola Oniya, the union in Akure insisted that lecturers had been going through hard times since the start of the Buhari administration.

“Since the inception of the current administration, there has been several untoward interference by certain dramatis personae in the guise of ‘oversight’ functions in public universities and thus challenging the autonomy of universities in Nigeria,” Oniya said.

“These ‘dictations’ from various quarters are unwholesome for the smooth running of the universities and against the global best practices. Since December 2015, workers in public universities (state and federal) have been plagued with shortfalls in salaries.

“For three years running, the same problem persists and the Ekiti State University will rank high on the list of state universities with the shortfall problem as the university is owning workers for five months. The governor may claim that the debt was inherited, but the clock is ticking.

“Where did the governor source his information? The basic salary of a professor at bar (to his family) is less than N300,000 monthly, and with his other allowances he earns about N500,000 till he retires at 70.”

On its part, Asuu at the University of Ibadan, through Dr Deji Omole, stated that while it would not be distracted in its struggle for the revitalisation of public education “by political opportunists like Governor Fayemi”, it considered the governor’s claim as diversionary.

“A newly promoted professor in the slave enclave called Nigerian universities earns below N400,000 and will only be able to receive N500,000 monthly after 10 years of becoming a professor and this includes all allowances,” it said in a statement.

“It is sad that someone living on state resources with his family and countless aides with juicy salaries will not be circumspect in thought. Fake news and propaganda have been the trademark of the ruling APC. Fayemi’s utterances revealed the mental state of those ruling us.

“We challenge him to publish what a professor earns as salary and allowances and what governors earn and allowances. If lecturers earn more than governors, why did Fayemi run away? Fayemi should tell the world how much he spent on capital grants to EKSU during his first sojourn in office.

“Nigerians should ask him why he failed to pick up the associate lecturer appointment offered him by the University of Ibadan Senate.”