The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said the recent creation of new universities and polytechnics by the federal government is meant for the 2023 presidential campaigns.
The group in a press conference at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka on Wednesday said the move amounted to politicizing university education.
The federal government had recently announced the establishment of six new private universities across the country, bringing the total universities in Nigeria to about 176 universities both public and private.
Addressing journalists, the Owerri zone of ASUU wondered why the government should be establishing new universities at this critical time when it is unable to properly fund the existing ones.
The coordinator of ASUU in the zone, Uzo Onyebinama said the association would ask the National Universities Commission, NUC, to review its Act to empower it to control the rate at which state governments were also establishing universities even when they couldn’t fund existing ones.
Onyebinama said: “We had asked the federal government in our various conferences why the need of creating universities when it can’t fund existing ones.
“But you know, as politicians, given that we are approaching the 2023 election, they want to have something for their campaign.
“When they visit those communities, they tell them they’ve given them universities. It’s not about opening universities, but about funding and sustenance. Why establish new universities when the ones on ground are mere shadows of themselves.
“If they fund the existing ones and expand their facilities, those ones can absorb whatever number of students these new ones will take. Truth is that the same new universities will tomorrow join other old ones to lament about funding. And another government will come up to establish theirs.
“Both the Federal and state governments are guilty of this and that is why we are asking the federal government to stop the proliferation of universities.”