Saadu Zungur University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Auwalu urges ASUU, FG to deploy realistic approach to avert future strike

Mohammed Kaka Misau

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) have been advised to always be realistic while trying to resolve industrial dispute to save the future of the country’s education.

The Vice Chancellor of Sa’adu Zungur University Gadau, Bauchi state, Professor Auwalu Uba who made the call in an exclusive interview with our Corresspondent on Thursday, urged the two parties (ASUU and Federal Government) to be realistic in their approaches to issues of industrial dispute.

“First, I’m an academic staff, I’m an ASUU member, we should be realistic in our demands, govt should also be realistic”, he said.

Professor Auwalu cautioned the government against rushing into signing agreements it knew cannot be able to fulfilled.

“They should sign agreements that they know they can be able to fulfill based on the availability of resources at its disposal”, he further advised.

“And for us also, ASUU should be realistic, we should table demands that are realistic and feasible, there are things that are very difficult to meet, let us always put the nation first, put the educational sector first so that we will begin to attract students from other countries”, the Vice Chancellor said.

According to him, universities grow when it attract foreign students, lamenting that gone are the days when Nigerian universities attracts foreigners who studies alongside indigenous students.

“In those days when we were undergraduates we were together with students from other countries including children of some workers of Indians, Americans and British nationals, they were attending our universities”, he recalled.

Professor Auwalu who insisted that ASUU and the FG need to be realistic, cautioned them against politicizing strikes, saying that the Nigerian Universities have had enough of strike.

“Eight months is not a joke, I was counting, I said five years as a VC, I think effectively, I will got only three years, the remaining two years just went on strike, so you can see how it has even affected me as an individual, the two years could have been used by me to do more things that could have loved to do, so been realistic is the most important thing”, Professor Auwalu said.

“The way public universities are being operated in Nigeria is not realistic. Someone coming to study medicine and you are charging him only N50,000 per annum, is it realistic? Someone coming to study pharmacy that is chemical intensive requirement, capital intensive, coming to study chemistry, coming to study microbiology, coming to study biochemistry and he pays only N25,000, it is difficult for these universities to survive under this condition”, the Vice Chancellor observed.

Professor Auwalu while thanking Governor Bala Mohammed for creating the enabling atmosphere for the operation of the institution, commended the governor for not interfering with the affairs of the University.

Professor Auwalu also lauded students, staff, traditional leaders, particularly the emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Dr. Rilwanu Sulaiman Adamu, the host Communities, other stakeholders for the massive support and cooperation given for the success of the University.

Commenting on the about five years stewardship of the VC, Director, Center of Excellence for Research and Innovation in the University, Dr. Kabiru Ibrahim Karamba described him as an exemplary leader to the core, a professor of microbiology per excellence.

According to him, the vice Chancellor is the architect of the new Bauchi state university who has established an unbreakable system with all strategic committees in place, among others.

On his part, Abubakar Baba Yakubu, a student with the department of Public Health, faculty of basic medical sciences of the University, said that the VC is referred to as the modern architect of Bauchi state university Gadau due to his developmental strides in the institution.

“For the whole of my life I have never seen a leader like him, he always consider us, the students as his biological children, we call him Baba (father) because of his kindness and support to everyone of us”, he said.

On his part, the Dean School of science of the University, described Professor Auwalu as one of the best VCs in the country, adding that so many positive changes have been recorded since his assumption of office about five years ago.

“He has recorded tremendous successes particularly in the area of accreditation, before now, this faculty of science, we were expecting so many courses to be accredited, luckily enough since he came on board, so many courses such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology, microbiology, science Laboratory, technology, computer science and many other courses were fully accredited.

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