Worried over poor funding of research activities in the universities, former chairperson of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Mrs, Emylia Jaja has challenged government and private firms to provide more funds for academic research across the country.
Mrs. Jaja threw the challeng in a chat with pressmen shortly after handing over to the new ASUU exco in RSUST earlier last week in Port Harcourt.
The university don lamented that both government and private firms have failed to utilize the enormous research available in the universities. This is responsible for the poor technological development in the country.
She disclosed that most of the university lecturers have resorted in publishing their researches in foreign journals as a way of attracting oversea fellowships and sponsorships.
Mrs. Jaja while commenting on her recent doctoral research explained that she is experimenting on the use of plants to curb oil pollution in the Niger Delta.
The former ASUU chairperson submitted that the use plants to bio-remediate a polluted environment is cheaper and eco-friendly, “because from the effects of the pollution I have discovered that some plants were able to withstand the contaminants.
She stated that her two-term tenure as ASUU chairperson in RSUST brought about changes in the union, as the chapter has become more active in national activities, “We have tried to make the institution what a university a university should be.”
Further enumerating her achievements, Mrs. Jaja stated that during her tenure, the union’s cooperative society was revitalized and that the welfare of lecturers was given more attention by the management.
While justifying the long strike embarked upon by the union last year, the university teacher argued that it was the only option left for the body.
In her view, the strike had no political undertone as ASUU was beat in checking the decay in the university system nationwide.