Monday, 28 October 2013

Responding to ASUU’s Spokesman By Prof Sola Adeyeye



Prof Sola Adeyeye




Responding to ASUU’s Spokesman

By Prof Sola Adeyeye
Vice Chairman
Senate Committee on Education
I was quite bemused by the reference by ASUU spokesman, Dr. Ajiboye,  to my enjoyment of Duquesne University’s reputed Flex benefits for its members of academic and nonacademic staff while denying similar benefits to ASUU members.  First, in most instances, as its very name suggests, the Flex Benefits Program at Duquesne was flexible. It was also contributory.  The University simply matched, up to a predetermined ratio, whatever amount had been contributed by the staff. For example, each faculty or staff made individual decision about how much he or she would contribute towards retirement, pension, life insurance etc.
In my case, I contributed 12% of my salary towards retirement and pension but the university was obligated to contribute not more than 6% of my wages towards my retirement portfolios which had been divided by me into different mutual funds like Vanguard, Lincoln, Travelers and TIAA-CREF. At the same time, there were colleagues who contributed only 3, 4 or 5% of their wages towards retirement and thus enjoyed less than the maximum of 6% which the University was obligated to match. In accordance with the flexibility of the program, at no time did I contribute towards or enjoy the benefits of Duquesne University Health program. Likewise, whereas some colleagues at Duquesne paid over $1,000 per annum to park on campus, I neither paid for nor enjoyed the campus car park facility.  After losing my protest to the university President that the parking charges were excessive, I simply bought a monthly bus pass; I rode public transportation to work. Doing this drastically reduced expenditure on car maintenance while still enabling me to get to and from work at a cost of less than half of what I would have been paying just to park.
The flexibility in Duquesne University benefits program paled into insignificance when compared to the flexibility in salary structure. At the risk of sounding immodest, the truth is that I joined Duquesne University employment with superlative credentials that aided my bargaining power in matters of salary. Indeed, I was the highest paid Assistant Professor in Duquesne University’s College of Liberal Arts which at the time included all Science as well as Arts Departments. God enabled me to enjoy such exceptional successes in grantsmanship that I was offered an assurance of at least a 10% annual salary increase for three years at a time when annual salary increase in the university averaged 3.5% and some faculty were given no increase at all! The university knew that I would take my service elsewhere if it failed to make attractive offers to retain me.  The consequence of this was that by the time I became an Associate Professor, my salary had already outstripped those of my colleagues in the same Department. Even so, whatever I earned was far less than what an Assistant Professor was earning in the College of Pharmacy where a beginning Assistant Professor’s salary exceeded those of some full Professors in the College of Liberal Arts! It is noteworthy that when the stock market bubble got burst in the USA, with the concomitant reduction of university revenues, Duquesne University like many universities across the USA, froze salary increase for a few years! My wife is a Professor and Chairperson at Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois, where salary and wages have been frozen for the last three years. Since Dr. Ajiboye admired Duquesne University Flex benefits program so much, would he canvass that ASUU adopt such flexibility rather than the current system where a Professor of Engineering at the University of Lagos enjoys similar salary structure as a Professor Religious Study at Ibadan and a Professor of History at Ile-Ife?
There are five universities within a four mile radius of Duquesne University. One of these is Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) where I taught before moving to Duquesne. Each of these universities had salary, wages and benefits structure that were unique to its own institution. For example, CMU contributed a fixed percentage of a staff’s salary towards retirement regardless of whether or not the staff contributed. By contrast, Duquesne University contributed NOTHING towards the retirement funds of a staff or faculty who chose not to contribute. In any case, Only in Nigeria would an academician demand overtime allowances under the euphemism of Excessive Work load Allowances. Such a demand would seem incongruous across the world.
 Dr. Ajiboye erroneously (and perhaps deliberately mischievously) sneered that as Senator, I sent my own children to be educated in the USA while not caring for the children of ordinary Nigerians. It would have been easy for me to also sneer at any ASUU member whose child, sibling or ward might be studying abroad where academic staff unions would never contemplate declaring a strike so that an academic staff could be paid allowances to supervise a thesis or dissertation! Do these staff not benefit from such researches which are crucial towards the scholarly publications necessary for academic promotion? If someone has been paid for doing or supervising research, should he again be rewarded with promotion and its concomitant salary increase on the basis of a service for which he had already been rewarded?
In any case, the truth is that I left Nigeria on September 14, 1980 and did not return until 2002. By then, all my children had either graduated from or had been admitted into a university.  God is extremely gracious in giving me academically gifted children all of who enjoyed full scholarship for their university education. I am tempted to tout the academic and subsequent professional achievements of my children but I would be vicariously taking a credit that belongs to God. Suffice to say that all of my children were already oscillating in the orbits of success long before my entry into Nigerian elective politics.  In my hometown, long before I got into elective politicking, nobody dead or alive, has made more personal financial contributions towards education than myself.  I have demonstrated that the success of my own biological offspring had not made me unconcerned about the larger community.
Interestingly, it was quite convenient for the ASUU spokesman to forget that my contribution on the senate floor castigated successive Nigerian Governments for the neglect and underfunding of education. I drew attention to visionary Obafemi Awolowo’s expenditure of 32% of the revenues of Western Nigeria on education alone.  Awolowo had exceeded the benchmark of 26% long before UNESCO had the wisdom to set it. Indeed, during his campaign in 1978 and 1979, Awolowo repeatedly stated that if necessary, he would spend 50% of Nigeria’s revenues on education.  I also castigated Government for entering into agreements it seemed to have known it would not implement.
There is no question that the enormous rot in Nigeria’s education sector cries for urgent and immediate attention. But as unpopular as saying so might make me to the membership of ASUU, the truth is that ASUU has been a part of the problem.  I would gladly love to engage Dr. Ajiboye in a prime time televised debate on my assertion.
 Meanwhile, we must leave the ridiculous for the sublime. Now, even as I did during my contribution on the floor of the senate, let us direct our attention to some practical solutions to this most pressing national crisis.
 First, the National Assembly of Nigeria should henceforth appropriate at least 26% of Nigeria’s current revenue to education alone. Second, Government in Nigeria, especially the Federal Ministry of Education, has been denigrated into a beast of burden. The metastasis of asphyxiating bureaucracy demands the streamlining of the endless parastatals that drain resources while making little or no contribution to national well-being and progress.  Third, to raise revenue for funding a national redemption program in education, all imports should attract a mandatory education tax of one percent. Fourth, beginning from January 1, 2014 till December 31, 2018, all workers in Nigeria must contribute 5% of their income as education taxes. Embezzling any amount of these revenues targeted for education should be taken as an act of treason.   This should attract the most severe penalty such as impeachment, imprisonment and perhaps death penalty. Fifth, the costs for running the offices of all elected and appointed political office holders should immediately be pruned by 50%. Something tells me that the implacable demands by ASUU are fueled by resentment at the cult of obscene privileges which Nigerian politicians have become. But our task is to curb needless privileges rather than add to them
 Finally, as a member of the Education Committee during my tenure in the House of Reps and now as Vice Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, I have almost always been the strongest advocate for the well-being of Nigerian universities. At a senate hearing not long ago, a chieftain of the National University Commission disparagingly lampooned academic staff of Nigerian Universities for depending too much on Government rather than obtaining extramural funding as is the case abroad. I was the one who immediately and robustly came to the defense of the academicians. I explained that the comparison was in error for two reasons. First, well funded private grant agencies like Ford Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, Howard Hughes Foundation, etc do not exist in Nigeria. Second, it was egregiously incorrect to assert that most research grants in the USA came from outside government. I pointed out that the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the United States Department of Agriculture were Federal Government agencies which principally fund research in science, health, and agriculture, respectively. With the absence of such agencies in Nigeria, I submitted that it was unfair to blame the academicians.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Ojukwu A Coward - General Gowon

Friday, 25 October 2013

VIDEO Legacy of Kwame Nkrumah and Ken Saro Wiwa #PolitrickswithKO



#PolitrickswithKO BLACK HISTORY MONTH Edition
Life and Struggles of Kwame Nkruma & Ken Saro Wiwa. Studio Guests Amanda Chienmbiri And Sarah Shoraka

Thursday 24th October 2013 8-pm to 9-pm (UK) LIVE on BEN-TV SKY 182 and Live Stream on line www.bentelevision.com

Also in the Studio we will have the Young British-Zimbabwean Change Agents

GUEST PROFILE:


Clarissa Mudukuti is the author of "Kwame Nkrumah The Man"

The book documents Dr Nkrumah's vision for Africa, how he went about bringing his vision to a reality, the challenges he faced, his belief system, and his character. Kwame Nkrumah the Man is also a comparative analysis of African leaders during the post-colonial struggle.


Sarah Shoraka. Sarah is a campaigner from the UK group Platform.

Platform combines art, activism, education and research in one organisation. It creates unique projects driven by the need for social and ecological justice. Platform's current campaigns focus on the social, economic and environmental impacts of the global oil industry. With pioneering education courses, exhibitions, art events and book projects promote radical new ideas that inspire change. Platform core values include justice, solidarity, creativity and democracy.
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ZIM-LINK (Zimbabwe-Link)


Young British-Zimbabweans conducting projects including traveling to Zimbabwe using film and photography to empower individuals to work together to create better understanding of the world around Zimbabwe.

Zim-Link will be donating cameras and equipment to some of the village schools in Zimbabwe so that children can have them to work with. Children will be empowered with skills in web design, blogging and social media with the schools. 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

#PolitrickswithKO BLACK HISTORY MONTH Edition Life and Struggles of Kwame Nkruma & Ken Saro Wiwa.





#PolitrickswithKO BLACK HISTORY MONTH Edition
Life and Struggles of Kwame Nkruma & Ken Saro Wiwa. Studio Guests Amanda Chienmbiri And Sarah Shoraka

Thursday 24th October 2013 8-pm to 9-pm (UK) LIVE on BEN-TV SKY 182 and Live Stream on line www.bentelevision.com

Also in the Studio we will have the Young British-Zimbabwean Change Agents

GUEST PROFILE:


Clarissa Mudukuti is the author of “Kwame Nkrumah The Man"

The book documents Dr Nkrumah's vision for Africa, how he went about bringing his vision to a reality, the challenges he faced, his belief system, and his character. Kwame Nkrumah the Man is also a comparative analysis of African leaders during the post-colonial struggle.


Sarah Shoraka. Sarah is a campaigner from the UK group Platform.

Platform combines art, activism, education and research in one organisation. It creates unique projects driven by the need for social and ecological justice. Platform’s current campaigns focus on the social, economic and environmental impacts of the global oil industry. With pioneering education courses, exhibitions, art events and book projects promote radical new ideas that inspire change. Platform core values include justice, solidarity, creativity and democracy.
-


ZIM-LINK (Zimbabwe-Link)


Young British-Zimbabweans conducting projects including traveling to Zimbabwe using film and photography to empower individuals to work together to create better understanding of the world around Zimbabwe.

Zim-Link will be donating cameras and equipment to some of the village schools in Zimbabwe so that children can have them to work with. Children will be empowered with skills in web design, blogging and social media with the schools.
 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Is the Nigerian Project Working? @DONUKOGBARA on #PolitrickswithKO Thursday 17TH October 2013






Is the Nigerian Project Working? DONU KOGBARA on #PolitrickswithKO
Thursday 17TH October 13 8-pm-9pm (UK) on BEN-TV Sky 182. Live Stream on www.bentelevision.com


Donu Kogbara is a print/broadcast journalist and communications consultant.

She grew up in the UK, studied History and Political Science at Leicester University and started her career in London, where she worked for many distinguished media organisations - the BBC, Channel 4, Economist Intelligence Unit and publications such as the Sunday Times, Guardian and Daily Mail.

She lived in Abuja full-time between l999 and 2011 and was a founder member of the Presidential Committee that drafted the first Petroleum Industry Bill under the Chairmanships of 2 Ministers of Petroleum Resources - Dr Rilwanu Lukman (a former OPEC President) and Dr Edmund Daukoru.

She now shuttles between the UK and Nigeria and is a Member of the Board of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, an organisation that was set up by Governor Rotimi Amaechi.

She has a weekly column in Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper and owns a consultancy firm called African Access. Her hobbies include reading, fine dining and travelling.




Also joining us from the Niger-Delta by phone is AkpoBari Celestine to discuss State of Ogoni-Land.

AkpoBari Celestine Nkabari is an indigenous Ogoni human and environmental rights activist; he was born into a small farming family in Kaani community of Khana Local Government Area of Ogoni

He founded the OGONI SOLIDARITY FORUM-NIGERIA, a platform dedicated to mobilising Ogonis on the part of non-violent struggle, centred on the actualization of the legitimate demands of the indigenous Ogoni people as enshrined in the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR).

AkpoBari is an associate of the Late Ogoni environmental rights activist Ken Saro Wiwa.

 He works for Social Action, Nigeria as a Programme Officer for
Community Action and Solidarity Building and also coordinates some activities of pro-democracy groups and anti-corruption coalitions on part time basis, he’s the South -South Zonal Coordinator for Nigerian pro-democracy group United Action for Democracy (UAD),
Nigeria, National Coordinator, Ogoni Solidarity Forum-Nigerian Office and Member, 7 man Executive Committee, Movement Against Corruption,
Nigeria (MAC).

Friday, 4 October 2013

PHOTO-SPEAK: GLORIFIED CHICKEN POULTRIES: Modern Day Nigerian Universities #WHYASUUSTRIKE ?


















1. Less than 10% of the universities have Video Conferencing facility.
2. Less than 20% of the universities use Interactive Boards
3.More than 50% don’t use Public Address System in their lecture OVERCROWDED rooms/theatres.
4. Internet Services are non-existent,or epileptic and slow IN 99% of Nigerian Universities
5. Nigerian Universities Library resources are outdated and manually operated. Book shelves are homes to rats/cockroaches
6.No university library in Nigeria is fully automated. Less than 35% are partially automated.
7. 701 Development projects in Nigerian universities 163 (23.3%) are abandoned 538 (76.7%) are PERPETUALLY on-going projects
8. Some of the abandoned projects in Nigerian univeristies are over 15 years old, some are over 40 years old.
9. 76% of Nigerian universities use well as source of water, 45% use pit latrine, 67% of students use bush as toilet
10. UNN and UDUS have the highest number of abandoned projects (22 and 16 respectively).
11. All NDDC projects across universities in Niger Delta States are abandoned. About 84.6% of them are students’ hostels
12. 77% of Nigerian universities can be classified as “Glorified Primary Schools” Laboratories are non existing
13. There are 8 on-going projects at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi. None of them is funded by the State Government
14. 80% of Nigerian Universities are grossly under-staffed
15. 78% of Nigerian Universities rely heavily on part-time and visiting lecturers
16. 88% of Nigerian Universities have under-qualified Academics
17. 90% of Nigerian Universities are bottom-heavy (with junior lecturers forming large chunk of the workforce)
18. Only 2% of Nigerian Universities attract expatriate lecturers, over 80% of Ghanian Universities attract same
19. 89% of Nigerian Universities have ‘closed’ (homogeneous staff – in terms of ethno-cultural background)
20. Based on the available data, there are 37,504 Academics in Nigerian Public Universities
21. 83% of the lecturers in Nigerian universities are male while 17% are female.
22. 23,030 (61.0%) of the lecturers are employed in Federal universities while 14,474 (39.0%) teach in State Universities.
23. The teaching staff-students ratio is EMBARRASSINGLY very high in many universities
24. LECTURER STUDENT RATIO: National Open University of Nigeria 1:363 University of Abuja 1:122 Lagos State University 1:11
25. (Compare the above with Harvard 1:4; MIT 1:9; Yale 1:4, Cambridge 1:3; NUS 1:12; KFUPM 1:9; Technion 1:15).
26. Nigerian Universities Instead of having 100% Academics having PhDs, only about 43% do so. The remaining 57% have no PhDs
27. Nigerian University medical students trained in the most dangerous environment, some only see medical tools in books
28. Only 7 Nigerian Universities have up to 60% of their teaching staff with PhD qualifications
29. Photo of a typical lecture hall of MOST NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES
30. While majority of the universities in the country are grossly understaffed, a few cases present a pathetic picture
31. There are universities in Nigeria which the total number of Professors is not more than Five (5)
32. Kano University of Scienc andTechnology Wudil, established in 2001 (11 years old) only 1 Professor and 25 PhD holders.
33. Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero, established in 2006 has only 2 Professors and 5 PhDs
34. Ondo State University of Sci & Tech Okitipupa, established in 2008, has a total of 29 lecturers.
35. MAKE-SHIFT LECTURING SYSTEM: Out of a total of 37,504 lecturers, only 28,128 (75%) are engaged on full-time basis.
36. 9,376 (25%) Nigerian Lecturers are recycled as Visiting, Adjunct, Sabbatical and Contract lecturers.
37. In Gombe State University, only 4 out of 47 Profs are full-time and all 25 Readers are visiting
38. In Plateau State University, Bokkos, 74% of the lecturers are visiting.
39. In Kaduna State University, only 24 out of 174 PhD holders are full-time staff.
39. 700 EX-MILLITANTS in Nigeria are receiving more funds anualy than 20 Nigerian universities under ‘Amnesty Scam’
40. 80% of published journals by Nigerian University lectures have no visibility in the international knowledge community.
41. No Nigerian academic is in the league of Nobel Laureates or a nominee of Nobel Prize.
42. There are only 2 registered patents owned by Nigerian Academics in the last 3 years.
43. Numerically more support staff in the services of Nigerian universities than the teaching staff they are meant to support
44. More expenditure is incurred in administration & routine functions than in core academic matters in Nigerian Universities
45. There are 77,511 full-time non-teaching staff in Nigeria’s public universities 2 Times number of academic staff
46. University of Benin, there are more senior staff in the Registrar cadre (Dep. Registrars, PARs, SARs) than Professors
47. Almost all the universities are over-staffed with non- teaching staff
48. There are 1,252,913 students in Nigerian Public Universities. 43% Female 57%Male
49. There is no relationship between enrollment and the tangible manpower needs of Nigeria.
50. Nigerian Uni Horrible hostel facilities, overcrowded, overstretched lavatory and laundry facilities, poor sanitation,etc
51. Except Nigerian Defence Acadamy Kaduna, no university in Nigeria is able to accommodate more than 35% of its students.
52. Some universities (e.g. MOUAU),female students take their bath in d open because d bathrooms are in very poor condition.
53. Laundries and common rooms in many universities have been converted into rooms where students live, in open prison style.
54. In most improvised cage called hostels in Nigerian Universities, there is no limit to the number of occupants.
55. Most State universities charge commercial rates for unfit and unsuitable hostel accommodation
56. In off-campus hostels, students are susceptible to extraneous influences and violence prostitution, rape, gang violence
57.Nigerian Univeristy Students sitting on bare floor or peeping through windows to attend lectures
58. Over 1000 students being packed in lecture halls meant for less than 150 students
59. Over 400 Nigerian University students being packed in laboratory meant for 75 students
60. Students use the bushy areas of their campus for toilet because lavatory facilities are too hazardous to use
60. University administrators Spend millions to erect super-gates when their Libraries are still at foundation level
61. Expend millions to purchase exotic vehicles for university officers even though they lack basic classroom furnishings
62. Spend hundreds of millions in wall-fencing and in-fencing when students accommodation is inadequate and in tatters
63. Govt interested in spending money on creation of new uni instead of consolidating and expanding access to existing ones
64. Govt keen to award new contracts rather than completing the abandoned projects or standardizing existing facilities
65. Govt Expend hundreds of millions paying visiting and part-time lecturers rather than recruiting full-time staff
66. Govt spending hundreds of millions in mundane administration cost instead of providing boreholes and power supplements.