Striking LASU Lecturers Face Sack

Sulaimon Mojeed-Sanni

The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga, has said that striking lecturers in Lagos State risk being sacked.

Olukoga, who oversees tertiary education in the state, made the statement at a youth interactive forum organised by the Ikorodu Ambassadors Group to discuss issues of education bursary, security and the 2015 governorship election.

At the event held at Something Else Recreation Centre, Ikorodu, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, Thursday, Olukoga said the lecturers have no justification to embark on the current strike, and that if the crisis in the Lagos State University persists, the university may be closed.

Olukoga noted that most of the lecturers have not be doing any research work and do not publish books to justify their demands for promotion and longer years of service. He advised that the lecturers should retire and return as contract staff if they are passionate about the university.

He said retiring early would create employment for the younger generation and further strengthen the quality of output of the lecturers.

“Lecturers in LASU are fighting for us to remove the ‘No Vacancy, No Promotion’ policy. We cannot remove it. Their problem is still coming, they have no basis to go on strike, and if they are not careful, we may end up closing LASU and tell those who are interested to re-apply.

“Today, we have N1 billion naira in the kitty for research in all our institutions, and we ask all the lecturers to come and access it. You won’t believe that we did not have any lecturer from LASU that applied. The majority of those who applied were from the University of Lagos and other institutions. That committee was headed by Prof. Ayo Banjo the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, while Dr. A.O.K. Noah from LASU was the secretary,” he added

He restated that the position of the lecturers that retirement age should be pegged at  70 is not possible, noting that lecturers cannot become Metuselahs in the system.

“If you are a good lecturer and you retire at 60, you would be reappointed by the government and be given more money than what you are getting before, that was the challenge we throw at them but they are not ready for that.

If your are sure of yourself leave at 60 and come back on a contract basis. If you want to be a Metuselah at 70, there would be more unemployment because many young people are out there who are ready to work. We have about 4 to 5 professors in a faculty and none has been able to produce a new professor,” he avarred.

Olukoga cautioned Lagosians not to be fooled by the actions of the lecturers, who in his opinion are afraid of the restructuring efforts of the state government.

“Do not let anybody fool you, the lecturers in LASU are not right. We told them what they are saying is not tenable for a strike, they should go and resume their duty, then we can dialogue,” he said.

When P.M.NEWS spoke to the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Lagos State University, Chapter, ASUU-LASU, Dr. Adekunle Idris, on phone, he said there is a lot of ignorance in the statement of the Special Adviser who is supposed to know better because of his portfolio.

“I see a lot of ignorance in the statement. We do not retire at 60, we retire at 65. It is the non-academics that retire at 60, he should know better because of his position,” he said.

A lecturer in the university who spoke under anonymity said the lecturers are themselves prepared for any eventualities.

“We knew what we were getting into when we started out and we are very prepared for any eventualities.

The government cannot take an adamant stand and expect the lecturers to shift position. Let the school fees be reduced, attend to the issues of promotion decisively, and allow lecturers stay till 70 years, that is all we seek and we are not backing out either. Let government close the school first and see the reaction of the common people,” she said.

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  • @Akhigbe. I like to believe that the special adviser only suggested that ASUU members should consider 60 years retirement age not 70, reading through the writeups. I agree, I disagree that all members are unproductive but that there are many fine/distinguished scholars in the folds. I do not know the research grant the adviser was talking about but if it is The Lagos State Reseach Development Council, it is inaccurate . I know of al least 9 proposals in AGRIC & ENGINEERING Faculties so his statement may be that of calling a dog a bad name.............I'm not 60 and do not picture myself in the system at 60 so ASUU does not speak for scholars on that one. Forced to insert myself on this discussion because of the negative comments therein.

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  • It is a pity that universities and their lecturers have degenerated to this level. Reading this story, I don't see the difference between the Gown and the Town. If the ASUU Chairman is accusing the special adviser of ignorance (excusable?) of not knowing the retirement age of lecturers, he has refused to touch on one weighty allegation that not even one member of his association from LASU has accessed the research grant on ground for the asking. This is a big blight on his association whose members always give the impression of being interested in academics and research. Are they ignorant of the the existence of this money or they are on " strike" regarding research? It portrays them as being intellectually lazy

    By the way why are so many people including lecturers afraid of retirement? I mean it is supposed to be a thing of joy to be 60 and get out of government employment. It should be a milestone every employee should look forward to, not to be dreaded. Now some persons' retirement age has been fixed at 65, yet they want it extended to 70. Many people cut corners by reducing their age so much so that some reportedly had their primary school certificate before they were born like we heard happened in Edo state recently after one verification exercise. It baffles me. Granted that retirement benefits are sometimes not paid on time and pension not regular, anyone who has attained the age should be prepared to leave and give opportunity to the younger ones. Do they prefer to be carried feet first out of government offices? Stupid!

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  • Majority of Lasu lecturers didn't get the job through merit, they got there through connection within the system. Bunch of incompetence fools with corruption and student abuse. Lagos state government should re-evaluate this so called lecturers and see who's really worth employing. 75% are empty shells. When the students paid for their first year they didn't complain but because their salary was not positively affected, now they are clamouring for reduction. Lasu system is corrupt and needs a total overhaul. I would appreciate it if the honourable governor would put them all in a fix.

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  • Honestly, we need to appeal to university community or higher institution to always agitate for what is just and practicable, it is not compulsory for state to toe the path of federal government inter of retirement age. Quote a number of graduate are unemployed and where there's no space, there can never be vacancy, be it 30 or. 60, professor do little in d university system. Majorly on administrative capacity, junior does all their work. Let system have the new breath, retire and take up contract employment if u stl have energy to perform, better dan be problem to the system

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  • Yes, let Lagos state Government take up their responsibilities and complete what the LASU lecturers are demanding for, because what goes up must surely come down. You can not eat your cake and have it back.

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  • I am wondering why Lagos State Government is complaining about the University Lecturers strike and threatening with sack. When Federal Government did the same thing they were criticizing them. What goes around comes around. Meet their demands and re-open the Institution just as you advised during ASUU National strike. Pls begin to "walk your talk"

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  • To d best of my knolege, those lecturers @ lasu ar heavily ncompetent & corrupt! They don't deserv people's empathy or sympathy. If I were 2 b d governor, I wl sack al of dem & ask those who ar stl ntrestd 2 re-apply. So dat they can b thorougly screend!

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  • How do you expect a Professor at Lasu to produce a Professor when they cannot even produce a graduate in 10years, how many years do you think they will spend to produce a Professor. People Deceiving People. I hope that school is just an upgraded JSS secondary school. Let them retire and access the fund, let them do research work and improve themselves or they retire aat 60.

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