ASUU: ‘Judgement Is Unfortunate’, Don Smacks FG on Legal Approach
….Suggests Capital Market Approach For Sustainable University Funding
A University lecturer and President, Association of Capital Market Academics, Prof. Uche Uwaleke has described the resolve to legal approach by the federal government to tackle the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as misplaced.
Uwaleke, who is a former Commissioner for Finance in Imo State and Head of Banking and Finance Department of the Nassarawa State University, Keffi, Nassarawa State also said the judgement of the Industrial Court on Wednesday that ordered ASUU back to work was unfortunate.
In an interview on the Arise Tv news on Thursday, the University don hinted that the federal government was expected to demonstrate goodwill and continue negotiation with the Union rather than what he called a ‘bully’ approach.
“The judgement is unfortunate but above all, the federal government’s legal approach is rather misplaced, they ought to have demonstrated goodwill and continue to use the negotiation line instead of this approach.
“I will advise the government to withdraw the case and continue negotiation, they should reverse the case and see ways to settle this issue outside the court, they cannot expect the lecturer to be forced by the court’s ruling when there is the option of appeal which has been taken.”
Reacting to matters that led to the crisis, the Financial Economist disclosed that the union was fighting not for its members’ welfare alone but for the total overhaul of the university system, saying lecturers have been engaged, even during the strike in research works while the the arrears of work that have been missed during the strike would be covered at the resumption of work.
On alternative sustainable funding system for public universities, Prof. Uche opined that the time has come to open the university system to capital market funding like the private business entities, so as to relief government of the burden of funding public universities.
He said many universities across the world like Oxford University and the University of Melbourne have been getting funding from capital market by selling bonds to the public, an approach that he said will be aided by embarking on revenue-generating ventures like private placements on executive academic programmes, investments and sale of bonds.
“The Oxford University issued $100million bond at a time to fund the institution which was oversubscribed because of the confidence the investors have in the university, also, in 2014, the University of Melbourne issued a bond of $250million which was successfully subscribed by the people.
“This capital market approach of selling bond will of course required the backing of the government, as they have done severally for banks which are private businesses and others to acquire public funding.”
ASUU, on Wednesday declared that it will appeal the judgement of the Industrial Court which ordered the immediate return of the union members back to work.