The Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities, CAANU, has urged the Federal Government to honour its agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other university-based unions.
It said this would help bring an end to the ongoing industrial action by the unions.
The organisation also asked the government to involve critical stakeholders like the representatives of the Vice-Chancellors and university alumni in subsequent negotiations with university labour unions.
CAANU stated this in a communiqué issued after its first quarterly meeting which was held at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
The communique, which was signed by the Chairman of CAANU, Prof. Ahmed Mora and Secretary, Dr Godwin Akpan, was obtained by journalists in Abuja.
It said the recurrent strike actions are already killing the already comatose university system in the country.
Part of the communique reads: “The Conference urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to as a matter of urgency fulfil the agreements between the government and the universities’ labour unions.
“The government should also involve critical stakeholders like the representatives of the Vice-Chancellor and university alumni in subsequent negotiations with university labour unions.
“The recurrent strike actions are killing the already comatose university system in the country. The Conference urged the government to give the funding of the universities the attention that it requires and show unalloyed commitment to the provision of infrastructure, equipment and facilities to the universities to ease the process of teaching and learning in a conducive environment.”
The association also urged federal and state governments to, among others, desist from politicising the creation of more universities.
It said: “The federal and states governments should also desist from politicising the creation of Universities when obviously the government is unable to fund the already established ones.
“The conference condemned in strong terms the unfortunate protests that started on Thursday 17th March 2022 after the announcement of Prof. Adebayo Simeon Bamire as the 12th substantial Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife by the University’s Governing Council.
“A protest based on the failure to appoint an indigene of the location of an educational institution is a show of the level of decadence and ignorance in the Nigerian society which the University should correct.
“While the conference appreciated the necessary relationship between the town and the gown, it emphasised that it is the gown that should influence the town with its positive and refined thoughts and not otherwise.
“It, therefore, warned all stakeholders and the general public to desist from every attempt to determine influence appointments and other exclusive internal concerns of the universities with sentiments like ethnicity, religiosity, political affiliations and other negative tendencies which had already placed the country in a fragile position.
“Universities Alumni as enlightened members of the public should begin deliberate and constructive orientation of the public concerning the relationship between the universities and the host communities in particular and the public in general. The governing council of the universities should be strengthened with more external members to reduce bias in decision making.
“The Conference implored Universities Alumni Associations to imbibe the culture of the Annual Alumni Intervention project to their universities. They should prioritise the need of the University for capital projects, while investors, sponsors and philanthropists should be partnered when necessary.”