The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has urged the Federal Government to rebuild the nation’s refineries with a view to reducing the negative effect of the fuel subsidy removal.
The union’s National President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, gave the advice on Wednesday at a Maiden Public Lecture and Groundbreaking ceremony of its Secretariat at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University (AE-FUNAI), Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi.
Osodeke explained that the lecture, titled, “Reinventing Nigerian Universities for Research and Development: The ASUU Perspective”, was to educate the public on the importance of research for nation building.
He decried the way the government had spent trillions of naira on repairing the refineries, advising that restoring them would ensure sustainable development not only in the oil industry but in all other sectors.
“Let me tell you, any nation that doesn’t promote education always invites crisis.
“On subsidy removal, we are an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC); so, whatever action they are taking on this nationwide issue, we’ll support them and our next action depends on NLC.
“In fact, we don’t believe in fuel subsidies. There is no subsidy in this country. You cannot be exporting crude oil for the past 70 years and yet you cannot refine the crude oil and sell to your people.
“Sell it to your people at the Nigerian rate and not in dollars. You see, something is wrong. So, there is a need to rebuild our refineries and prioritize the nation’s education for sustainable development,” he added.
Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, immediate past president of the union, who delivered the lecture, called for the full engagement of the lecturers and stakeholders in education for a better country.
Ogunyemi urged federal and state governments to embrace research and prioritize education and improve the quality of life of the citizens.
Prof Sunday Elom, Vice-Chancellor of AE-FUNAI, represented by Prof Ramanus Ejiaga, commended the union for organizing the lecture which he said was timely.