As strike embarks upon by Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, enters its 81st day, Wives of Vice Chancellors of public universities are set to travel to Istanbul, Turkey for a five-day conference.
According to a letter obtained by Punch Newspaper, the programme is scheduled to hold from 18 to 23 July 2022, in Istanbul.
The letter which was dated May 5, 2022, and sighted by Punch correspondent, was signed by the Committee of Vice Chancellor Secretary-General, Yakubu Ochefu.
Ochefu noted that each of the VC wives would pay a sum of N1.5m as course form to attend the programme.
The letter addressed to vice chancellors was titled, ‘Invitation to the Istanbul 5-Day Leadership & Management Masterclass, Fellowship Induction for Spouses of Vice Chancellors, Women in Academics and Higher Education Leadership’.
It partly read, “We understand the vital role spouses play in supporting Vice Chancellors as they execute their day- to day administration of universities. It is therefore imperative, that capacity building exercises be put in place for the Women in Academics and spouses of Vice Chancellors in Nigerian Universities.
“In this regard, the Committee’s Secretariat, In Partnership with Win Institute for Gender Studies, Nigeria in collaboration with her Turkey-based learning partner, Istanbul Egitimler, have put together a 5-day Leadership & Management Masterclass, and Fellowship Induction for spouses of Vice Chancellors, women academics and higher education leadership in Africa.”
Similarly, the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities Spouses is set to hold a two-day conference at the Tayo Aderinokun Memorial Hall at the University of Lagos.
The conference slated for May 9, 2022, has UNILAG VC, Prof O.T. Ogundipe, and his wife as hosts while former Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Dr Ibukun Awosika, is pencilled as one of the speakers.
ASUU had on February 14 embarked on industrial action.
The union led by Prof Emmanuel Osodeke said it made the decision for the Federal Government and its agencies to meet the lingering demands of the union.
The National Association of Nigerian Students has since threatened fire and brimstone, censuring the Federal Government for abandoning students of public universities but politicians including current ministers have shunned the striking lecturers and protesting students.
Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; as well as Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; both of the ruling All Progressives Congress recently picked up the party’s N100m presidential nomination and expression of interest forms each while lecture rooms remained shut for about three months this year.
Students of public universities had also been at home for nine straight months in 2020 when ASUU and the Federal Government had a face-off over unpaid areas, choice of payment platforms, amongst other contentious issues.