At the Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch (CeFTIW) weekly twitter spaces, guest experts and participants have unanimously decried the widening trust gap in governance over the years, noting particularly that the government has not lived up to its expectations and commitment to the education sector, the consequence of which is the ongoing industrial actions by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Speaking for the Union, Dr. Happiness Uduk, ASUU Chairperson, University of Uyo branch, argued that the struggle of university lecturers over the years has been to better the university system. She said that the Union is altruistic and not seeking for just the selfish interest of its members as has been speculated, adding that the Union’s struggle and actions are the reasons for the level of infrastructural development in most government owned universities in the country.
While calling on stakeholders to support the cause of the Union, which she said is to reposition the nation’s university education, she said that the Union is not insensitive to the plights of Nigerian students, but its actions are in response to government lack of commitment to the Union demands since 2009.
Responding to the issue of trust gap in governance in relation to the ASUU crises, she said: “this trust deficit essentially stems from government’s inability to honor its own part of the bargain. When I say bargain, I mean various agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, and then the last Memorandum of Action that was entered into in December 2020 between the ASUU and the federal government that saw to the suspension of the nine months strike that was embarked upon by the Union.”
Dr. Uduk explained that the government has consistently failed to look into the agreement it entered with the Union, adding that governments has not shown enough commitment to end the current strike action, accusing the government of misplaced priority.