By Ayodele Oluwafemi
The comments of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) on Monday, that tertiary institutions are not safe to resume due to lack of concrete steps to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the institutions have sparked outrage on the social media.
The zonal coordinator of ASUU, Lagos Zone, Prof. Olusiji Sowande, at a press conference held at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, said it would be suicidal to reopen tertiary institutions without adequate preparation by the Federal Government.
Prof Sowande noted that government issued bailout funds to airline operators and other private institutions but public universities are yet to receive such funds.
“Presently, hostel accommodations are inadequate, no facility on the ground to carry out physical distancing in large and crowded classes, water and electricity supply are not reliable, etc,” he said.
“Reopening tertiary institutions without taking concrete steps to address these issues would be suicidal. While the government made arrangements for special bailout funds for airline operators and other private entities, no such arrangement was made for public universities.”
Students of public universities in the country have been at home since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement by ASUU Lagos Zone Chairman has dashed the hopes of many students, who were expecting that schools would resume in the coming days.
Many Nigerians are asking why other sectors of the economy are reopened and public universities cannot open.