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ASUU urges FG to revitalise economy by shunning external interference

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has called on the Federal Government to redirect and revitalize the nation’s economy by shunning external interference and influences of foreign monetary agencies. The ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, made the call at a symposium organized by the University of Lagos chapter of ASUU in Lagos on Tuesday.

The theme of the symposium was: 

“Three Decades of Neo-Liberalism and the Nigerian Economy.”

According to him, the strategic goal of the country’s leaders in the face of the current economic situation today is to re-jig the existing policies. Ogunyemi said the need to look inwards and find ways of harnessing resources and talents of the citizenry was key.

He said: “It is no longer in doubt that our nation’s economy is in recession.

“We cannot continue to go round the circle by allowing some foreign financial and economic agencies burrow into our economy and dictate where the pendulum should swing.


“This definitely is not to the interest of the common masses, but rather in favour of these external forces.


“Now is the time to make up our minds toward supporting the academia and build massive human capacity with a view to strengthening the political institutions and the states.


“We are interested in developmental states and, therefore, we call on our leaders to resist the World Bank and the IMF formula.”


Ogunyemi said the issue of inadequate funding in education, health and other public infrastructure was an off-shoot of the effects of neo-liberalisation, which had never helped.

The ASUU president said “if the country’s economy is well planned, there will be a case of collecting from the rich to assist the poor”.

He stressed the need for government to also support and encourage the academia by patronizing research findings. The unionist said over the years, universities have come up with research findings that could proffer solutions to some of the various challenges facing the country.

Ogunyemi noted: “But because of lack of support they are boxed up in a corner. We are not apolitical. We do not attack government or try to bring it down.

“All we are thinking about is what is good for the country and the populace. Our leaders must learn to lead by example because it is the only way to check reality and identify our needs quickly.”

Ogunyemi also said privatizing public institutions that belonged to the masses was one of such issues that government should reconsider. According to him, such development is bringing more pains and hardship to the populace. He said that the neo-liberalism was usually driven by internal ideas but determined by external variables.

Ogunyemi advised: “We must, therefore, guard what belongs to us jealously before they are taken over by foreign economic institutions.” In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of Unilag, Prof. Rahamon Bello, said the theme of the symposium was apt and that it came at a better time.

Bello said that for the country to get out of the current economic state there was an urgent need to tackle the challenges headlong and come out with practicable solutions.

He said that the interest of the common man should be considered by government in formulating policies. One of the speakers at the symposium, Prof. Ndubuisi Nwokeoma, said Nigeria needs developmental policies that would see it moving forward rather than moving round the circle.

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