The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Kano Zone, yesterday explained the need for the government to provide all the necessary COVID-19 safety protocols before reopening of schools.
According to the union, the need for the provision of all the necessary COVID-19 safety protocols is to ensure the protection of life and safety of the students and staff.
The acting Zonal Coordinator of the union in Kano, Professor Abdulkadir Mohammed, made this known to journalists at the ASUU secretariat in Bayero University Kano.
Abdulkadir explained that “the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country has laid bare the infrastructural deficit not only in our universities, but in other units of the education sector.
“This is as a result of the continuous refusal of the government to heed to ASUU calls for proper funding of our universities to make them globally competitive since 1992.
“Our previous agreements with the government in 1992, 2001, 2009 MoU, 2017 MoA, and NEEDs assessment reports have all made adequate provisions for the infrastructural needs of our universities to make them cope with the COVID-19 protocols.
“With lack of running water and electricity, overcrowded class, poorly spaced hostels rooms, libraries, laboratories and staff offices, none of the universities will satisfy the requirements of social distancing.
“Nigerian universities today are poorly equipped to cope with the COVID-19 protocols for school resumption as outlined by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).”
Muhammad disclosed that if the federal government failed to take necessary measures before the resumption, it will be held responsible over the health of the students and staff.
He added: “Let me make it categorical that the union is not averse to opening public universities, but before doing that, the government must provide all the necessary conditions that will make it safe for our members and the students to avoid a spike in the case of COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Kano zone of the union also observed with dismay, the recent takeover of the Hospitality and Tourism Institute (former Daula Hotel) by the Kano State Government, saying due process was not followed.