Dr. Jimoh Abdulfatai is the President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) FUT Minna chapter and a lecturer of Chemical Engineering met with FAITH OLANIRAN to illuminated more on his plans and what the association is all about.
Talking about the just concluded ASUU election; which you emerged as the president, going by the information i gathered i learnt the election was strenuous, what is your say on that?
To me it was not strenuous or stressful at all, because it is the tradition of ASUU to conduct election when the current serving executives tenure is due, i can also tell you that so far in the history of FUT Minna the election is adjudged to be the most free and fair, because the election was free from any rancour, and the members of the association came out in their large numbers to vote. At the end of the day when the results were out i emerged as the president.
Considering the fact that you are a product of FUT Minna, and your position as the ASUU chairman how do you tend to balance student to lecturer relationship in the university?
Of course you are right, i bagged my first and second degree in FUT, before travelling abroad for PhD. i tell you if you ask any of my student they will tell you that Engr.(Dr.) Jimoh Abdulfatai is a lecturer that students always want to lay their complains, and express their feelings; I believe the students should see their lecturers as their guardians, next of kin, and parents on campus. I as well told the student representatives that came to my office that ASUU is willing and always available to help them whenever they are in need of our help so far they promise to shun all forms of cultism and maintain high level of discipline our doors will always be open to them.
What is the tenure duration of your office?
According to ASUU’s tradition it is two years, although it is renewable but it must not be more than four years, and even the four years has to pass through the process of election.
Talking about your tenure in office is the issue of strike going to be a thing of the past and should the academic community look forward to a rise in the education standard of the university?
Let me correct this impression, when you talk about ASUU, everybody thinks ASUU is all about strike; which is not so, and let me tell you no leader or president of ASUU in a university will have embarking on strike as its agenda. ASUU is the most democratic association i know presently in this country is ASUU, if you don’t know before going on strike it might take up to 18 months of planning to strike. If the Federal Government does what is expected of them there would not be need of strike. Let me add at this point that my administration is working in collaboration with the university executives to see how FUT Minna can have a fast and undisrupted academic session. So my brother ASUU is not all about strike.
What are the challenges you think you might face as the president?
That your question is too broad, challenges are quite numerous, for instance what is the standard of the university? , on the part of students also, wages paid to the workers, office facilities, few books in our libraries, subscriptions to different data base and finance for research all these are problems ASUU needs to tackle. Honestly speaking the challenges are so many, but I believe we are going to tackle them reasonably.
What do you hope to achieve as the president of the association
First and foremost, my major priority is to ensure that the welfare and interest of my members i.e. the lecturers are being protected. Also i wish to help create a better environment for learning and teaching, apart from that before my tenure elapses i am planning on moving ASUU’S base to her secretariat in the permanent site of the university, acquire more facilities that will help us carry out our work. All these i hope to achieve during my administration as the president of ASUU.
What is your point of view on the education system in Nigeria?
Our leaders need to know that there is no country that can develop if its education sector is in jeopardy. The government should do their duties and do it correctly to make sure that the country has a good and sound educational system.