‘Cooperatives, spouses, others sustain us’
Professors and lecturers in Nigerian universities, yesterday, explained how difficult it had been surviving without receiving payment from the government during the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Some of the university lecturers, who spoke with The Guardian in Ibadan, said they had been relying on their spouses, cooperatives, hustling and others to take care of their families.
The dons include Prof. Emmanuel Omobowale, the Director of the Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan (UI); Dr. Stephen Lafenwa of the Political Science Department, UI; Prof. Adewale Yagboyaju, UI and Prof. Femi Ajayi of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Omobowale said: “It has been by God’s grace. Spouses and hustling and cooperatives gave palliatives and loans to members. Cooperatives also paid dividends to members. It has been fantastic. It has helped a lot.”
Lafenwa said: “We have been using cooperative societies to take care of our needs. The cooperatives have been useful for us. We have some money and commodities. Although some of us have our wives working.”
Yagboyaju said: “I engaged in research and community development activities. It was a great opportunity to complete some ongoing research works and it enabled one’s efforts to pay off by way of journal publications. It also enhanced the search for new information and knowledge.
Ajayi of OAU said: “Those seven months could be likened to seven years of famine in Egypt during the time of Moses in the Bible.
‘’My coping strategies were reducing my expenses and no movement beyond my neighbourhood. Food consumption was reduced and bills were not paid sometimes. Requests were kept in view.
“Coping facilities were obtained from my union and cooperative society.
“Subscriptions were suspended. My farm became a source of vegetables and some food products.”