By Moses John
National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) at the weekend lamented over the poor standard of laboratories in the nation’s universities.
Its president, Comrade Suleiman Sani, who stated this during the foundation-laying ceremony of the NAAT National Secretariat at the University of Abuja, called on the NEEDS Assessment Committee and the Implementation Monitoring Committee (IMC) to “ensure that new and world standard laboratories are built, while up to date and good laboratory equipment are purchased.”
It also demanded for proper disbursement and judicious use of the N200 billion intervention funds to the universities.
Sani further decried the poor implementation of the 2009 Agreement signed by the federal government with NAAT and its two other sister unions in the university sub-sector, adding that it was not satisfied with its level of implementation.
He also warned that even though the union believed in dialogue, it would not hesitate to resort to strike, if their demands on improved practical education standard and good learning environment in the universities were not met.
He said: “We don’t have enough laboratories. And we have made presentations to the government that the equipment we have in our laboratories are not enough. If you want to undertake a practical, and you have a class of about two hundred, the space there is small, the equipment there are few, while some of them are obsolete.
“We have already told the government. Thank God that we have the NEEDS Assessment Committee in place, and we have made our complaints to the committee and we hope that the N200 billion coming to universities, they will use it judiciously; because allocation papers have already been giving to universities and this include purchasing of laboratory equipment, and building standard laboratory.
“You find out that most of the laboratories we have today are not up to standard and we have been able to talk to our members to talk to the authorities in their various universities to design standard laboratories in accordance to what we have worldwide.”