The banks have been magnanimous towards striking members of the Universities Academic Staff Union, particularly those in Enugu State, our correspondent reported on Tuesday.
THE WHISTLER reports that university professors have been on strike since February this year over the federal government’s failure to honor the agreement it signed with ASUU.
It was further discovered that university professors had not earned their salaries since the start of the strike under the federal government’s “no work, no pay” policy. Some of the speakers who spoke with our reporter in Enugu said that the spirit of their quest makes them firm in their determination to fight to finish.
Dr Emeka Aneke, a senior lecturer at Enugu State University of Science and Technology, said: “This is the first strike that we are experiencing with joy. The resolution is that the right thing must be done. Yes, it was not easy, but even our students realized that the FG was wrong.
“My wife works, so she was a great help to me. I also had to adjust my lifestyle to match what we have.
A lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, on condition of anonymity, said: “Banks have been my helper. They easily advance loans on favorable terms to ASUU members. It can be in the form of an overdraft. So we want the strike to continue.
“Politicians want to ruin the public education sector. Some of them already have private universities, others send their children and wards abroad, and so on. ASUU simply wants to increase funding for university education.
Another lecturer at UNN said, “I teach fine and applied arts. I took advantage of the time of the strike to launch myself into sculptures that I sell at exhibitions. When I encounter financial problems, I contact my bank to obtain a loan. I work at a community bank on campus, so money isn’t the issue. My salaries are paid by the bank, so they know that whenever our arrears come in, they deduct the amount I owe them in a way that will not harm me.
Jennifer, who is married to a lecturer, said: ‘I advise husbands to build their wives economically. At a time like this, empowered women will save the day. I sell foodstuffs at the main market in Ogbete. My husband helped me start the business, so the business became our fallback. At least the power supply isn’t the problem.