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10 Problems Facing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Nigeria

10 Problems Facing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Nigeria – Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is a trade union in Nigeria that fights for the good of the universities in Nigeria. Its major tool is a strike. Its major target is the Federal Government.

As such, the task before ASUU is not an easy one. ASUU and the Federal Government are like two lions that are fighting each other. For ASUU to get the upper hand, it must overcome its problems. If ASUU fails to face its challenges squarely, there comes its failure.

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Therefore, I want to point out ten challenges that ASUU must overcome if it must get what it wants. The Federal Government sees ASUU as a rival. Nevertheless, ASUU sees itself as the saviour of the Nigerian University system and Nigerian society as a whole.

Challenges Facing ASUU in Nigeria

1. The Federal Government of Nigeria

If ASUU must achieve its demands for the university system, it must devise a means of overcoming the Federal Government of Nigeria. The Federal Government is not ready to give in to ASUU’s demands. The Federal Government sees ASUU as anti-government.

ASUU, on the other hand, sees itself as fighting for the right of all university lecturers and the right of all Nigerians. It is difficult to say who is right or wrong.

However, should ASUU tell the Federal Government to fund its universities before it does it? ASUU is only being forward and trying to deal with the problem directly. Many knowledgeable Nigerians are not happy with the whole school system of Nigeria. The primary schools, as well as the secondary schools, are sick with an almost incurable diseases. Nobody is there to fight for them.

It is for this reason that ASUU has decided that, come rain come shine, things must not be the same with the university system. Well, let us hope that ASUU will succeed.

2. Nigerian Society

Nigerian society is a challenge to ASUU. How is it a challenge to Asuu? Not all Nigerians accept what ASUU is doing. Some Nigerians see ASUU as merely disrupting the university school academic calendar. They see ASUU as only fighting for itself. Therefore, ASUU must devise a means of overcoming this problem.

3. ASUU’s Leadership

The leadership of ASUU is another challenge that ASUU must plan to overcome. There is no doubt that there are traces of tribalism in the leadership. Those who come from the tribe of the president may want to fight for him instead of ASUU. Thus, bringing divided loyalty to ASUU’s leadership.

If care is not taken, some leaders might be fighting for themselves. Money is a problem in Nigeria. Some people change their minds the moment they see the money. Therefore, if ASUU must succeed, it must first deal with its leadership before dealing with the government.

4. Indiscipline

ASUU must solve the problem of indiscipline in its membership. Sacrifice is hard to make. It takes discipline to do the needful. ASUU can only succeed when its yes is yes. Even if that yes will bring suffering, ASUU has to stand for what it believes without looking back.

5. Other Organisations not collaborating with ASUU

One other problem facing ASUU is other organisations not collaborating with it. If other organisations fail to support ASUU, it might fail.

For this reason, ASUU should make others believe in what it is doing. This will make others collaborate with it to fight a common front. The university system does not belong to only ASUU. It belongs to all Nigerians; hence, ASUU must not fight alone.

6. Students’ Ignorance

ASUU is faced with the students of the universities being ignorant of what it is doing. Already, the students do not know whom to blame, whether the government or ASUU. The students are not comfortable with staying at home because of ASUU’s strikes. They feel that someone is punishing them but do not know for sure who that person is.

Who is punishing them? Is it ASUU or the Federal Government? They are yet to ascertain who the Punisher is. To ASUU it is fighting for the betterment of the students. To the government, ASUU is the one disrupting the activities of the university system. The scenario is not clear to the students.

7. Other Labour Unions not Understanding ASUU

ASUU, being a trade union, is also a part of the labour union in Nigeria. Sometimes, when a smaller union is on strike, the general labour union joins the strike when it judges the issue at stake as right. This can happen in the case of ASUU. However, the labour union must-see ASUU to be right before it justifies its strike.

8. ASUU’s Self-Cleansing

One other problem facing ASUU is self-cleansing. ASUU’s members need to purge themselves of anything that is not expected of them. They need to be focused. They should say one thing and mean it.

A problem that is prevalent in a group like ASUU is the saboteur. The thought of selfishness can come. There can be a group within the main group. The sub-group may not believe in what the main group is doing in total. The possibility of the sub-group sabotaging the effort of the main group becomes apparent. For ASUU to succeed, the members must purge themselves of all such bad thoughts and emotions that will not go well with the aims of the group.

9. Lack of Accountability

ASUU should deal with a lack of accountability. Corruption is a general problem in Nigeria. When you give a man money and power, you can tell how such a man is. ASUU is fighting for the universities to be properly funded. What happens when the funds arrive?

When the funds come to the universities, some of the same ASUU members will not let others know that such funds have come. It is then that some of them will think of funds diversion. Nobody will know how the funds are going.

One question that ASUU needs to answer is the question of internally generated revenue. Does it mean that the universities have no means of generating any money? If so, it means that our universities are not productive. They cannot be crying for money all the time if they have means of generating their funds.

The autonomy of the universities should mean that they can care for themselves. Being autonomous and at the same time asking for funds is very confusing. There are many ways universities can generate their funds. They should explore all the ways available to them in the generation of revenues. When the funds are generated, there should be accountability. Thus, things will be well with the university system.

10. Wrong Methodology

The wrong methodology is also a problem that ASUU is facing. The method of using strikes to fight for their demands is no longer in favour of the students and Nigerian society in general. For ASUU to say that it is fighting for the betterment of the universities while keeping the students at home is ironic.

If care is not taken, ASUU will become a problem to the same university system that it is trying to salvage. When classes resume after strikes, the students do not learn much. The lecturers only rush the students and end the academic year without imparting any reasonable knowledge to the students. This is counterproductive.

Meanwhile, the students must have spent so much money on rent and other academic items. Landlords do not care whether ASUU is on strike or not. All that they are after is their rent. It goes to mean that the students will spend more money on accommodation than they budgeted.

How is ASUU helping the Nigerian government when it does not work yet ask for full payment of salaries from the government? How does ASUU account for the wasted days, weeks and months of the students’ academic years? ASUU should change its methodology in pressing home its demands. Our students are suffering.

Recommended: 10 Ways to Improve Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Nigeria

Bottom Line

ASUU has so many problems to solve. ASUU authorities should sit down and diagnose their problems critically. It will help them to know the right way forward.

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Isaiah Atawheke

Isaiah is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNIgeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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