University Unions: Three-Day National Warning Strike Next If FG Fails To Act – NLC

 

The Federal Government should brace for a three-day nationwide strike across all sectors if the crisis in the nation’s public universities is left unresolved, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned.

Scores of unions in various critical sectors such as aviation, electricity, and petroleum among others, are affiliated with the labour union.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, gave the warning on Tuesday during his appearance on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, amid the protest by members of the union across the country.

“The protest first is to show our concern and to also call for urgent action to resolve the issues. We took two levels of decision,” he said while highlighting the importance of the protest.

“First is the national protest to call for attention and for the issues to be resolved promptly, and the next level is three days national warning strike if nothing has happened after the protest to show our grievances.”

NLC members in Benue State participate in the protest in solidarity with university unions on July 26, 2022.

 

Members of the NLC across the country trooped to the major streets of the state capital of their respective branches in protest against the prolonged strike by university workers.

The national leadership of the union is expected to join the demonstration in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Wednesday, a day after it began in all 36 states of the Federation.

University workers, including members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), had gone on strike for various reasons.

While the Federal Government said the decision of the NLC to embark on a nationwide protest was illegal, the leadership of the union insisted that its action was within the ambit of the law.

NLC members in Ogun State prepare for the protest in solidarity with university unions on July 26, 2022.

 

“These are democratic norms everywhere around the law,” Wabba stated. “It is within the provisions of our law; it is backed by UN Charter for Human and People’s Rights, African Charter for Human and People’s Rights.

“It is there in our constitution – Section 39/40, and even the courts have pronounced that you don’t require any permission; so it is legal, it is within your fundamental rights to protest.”

Lecturers in government-owned universities – affiliated with ASUU – embarked on a nationwide strike on February 14 over the adoption of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) of the government as the payment system in the university sector, as well as poor funding of universities, and non-payment of salaries and allowances of some of their colleagues, among other issues.

Since the industrial action began, several negotiations between the union and the government have ended in deadlock.

While the government is still struggling to resolve the issues raised by the striking lecturers, the crisis in the public universities may not end soon as other university unions have also voiced their concerns.

ASUU Strike: FG Working On A Funding Structure For Public Universities – Nwajiuba

The Federal Government is working on a funding structure for public universities in the country as part of moves to tackle the incessant strikes by lecturers in these institutions. 

This is according to the former Minister of State for Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba who noted that the government’s funding of public universities is unsustainable.

“I have proposed, and the Minister of Education (Adamu Adamu) will continue discussing this with Mr President, a new scheme in which universities have a different way of earning money to be able to care for themselves,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

The presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 election maintained that with the number of public universities in the country, these schools have to get new ways of making money to fund their institutions.

“Because you see, there are only 50 of these federal universities and there are 200 others. However, these 50 alone are more than 75 percent of the number of students in the entire university structure – about 2.2m of them,” he argued.

“So, it is important we give them a funding structure; we need to bring a funding structure to the table because this coming hand-in-cap to the Federal Government at all times cannot be continued and is not sustainable.”

READ ALSO: APC Inaugurates Screening Committees In Abuja

‘Point of Departure’

A file photo of the main gate of UNILAG.

 

Nwajiuba, who last week resigned his position in the cabinet to concentrate on his presidential dream, said “this (a new funding structure) is something I would implement if you give me your mandate to be president.

“I know that even if it is not implemented now, the universities autonomy law needs to be reactivated.”

The former minister’s comment adds to the debates about funding for public universities in the country. Lecturers in these institutions have been on strike since February 14, pushing their demands, which include better funding for universities.

But the APC chieftain believes ASUU should reconsider strike as a means to press home their demands.

“In the last 20 years, we have had nearly 16 strikes. So, my position has not been that ‘Please, ASUU is talking rubbish’,” Nwajiuba said. “No, this is not true. ASUU is making a case for the entire university system.

He, however, said, “the only point of departure is that we have asked ASUU that strikes cannot cure the problem.”

“We need our children back in school. It hurts parents; it hurts us,” the presidential aspirant noted. “My own children are here. I don’t have children in private universities.”

ASUU Extends Strike By 12 Weeks

ASUU, JAMB Act, amendment
A file photo of ASUU’s logo.

 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has extended the ongoing strike by twelve weeks, the president of the union, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke said on Monday. 

In a statement he issued after an emergency National Executive Committee meeting of the association at the University of Abuja on Sunday, the ASUU president said the decision was to give the government enough time to resolve all outstanding issues with the lecturers.

“After extensive deliberations, noting the Government’s failure to live up to its responsibilities and speedily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) within the additional eight-week roll–over strike period declared on 14th March 2022, NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for twelve weeks to give Government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues,” the ASUU president’s statement read.

“The roll-over strike action is with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Monday, 9th May 2022.”

READ ALSO[ASUU] Nigerian Students Ready To Be Shot To End Strike – Asefon

‘Despicable And Condemnable’

In this file photo, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, chairs a reconciliatory meeting between the Federal Government and ASUU in Abuja on February 22, 2022.

 

ASUU also expressed dissatisfaction with the three-man panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari in February to resolve the lingering industrial action.

“NEC was equally disappointed that ASUU’s only meeting with the Professor Nimi Briggs-led Renegotiation Committee did not reflect the expected level of understanding, preparation, and clarity that undergird collective bargaining going by the Committee’s confession of ‘going about consulting stakeholders’, the statement added.

“Unless urgent steps are taken to redirect the Committee on concluding a draft Agreement that has been pending since May 2021, its activities may end up as another wild goose chase.”

The union was also full of commendations for the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), students’ groups, and civil society organisations “who have taken steps towards resolving the current labour dispute with the Nigerian government”.

The planned trip by spouses of vice-chancellors, ASUU said, is “despicable and condemnable”.

“The advertised five-day conference in Istanbul is a waste of scarce resources of our universities; it is insensitive and provocative, particularly at a time like this when lecturers are denied their salaries for daring to struggle to improve the lot of our public universities,” ASUU maintained.

The extension came days after the Federal Government said it would resume talks with the striking lecturers this week.

Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige, had said this on Friday after meeting with the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).

“As a conciliator, I manage you people in measured steps. That is why I want to take all of you holistically and I ask for your cooperation. When I finish with you today, I will continue with ASUU next week,” a statement by the acting spokesman of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Patience Onuobia, quoted Ngige as saying.

“I have done NASU and SSANU yesterday and they were happy. I want you people to be happy as we leave here.”

ASUU Strike: Kaduna Varsity Asks Students, Lecturers To Resume May 9

Kaduna
Entrance to the Kaduna State University

 

As the strike action embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) lingers, the management of Kaduna State University (KASU) has scheduled to commence full academic activities for the 2020/2021 academic year on May 9.

The university in a circular dated April 26, and signed by its academic secretary,  Abdullahi Zubairu, directed all students and lecturers of the institution to resume academic activities.

The circular further advised all the lecturers and students to abide by the academic calendar.

READ ALSO: 2023: Osinbajo Seeks Support In Ogun, Receives Royal Blessings

The industrial action has extended into two months with the Federal Government yet to accede to the lecturers’ demands.

Worried about the situation, many Nigerian students have taken to social media to protest the closure.

Last week, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said the decision to suspend the industrial action embarked upon by ASUU could only be taken by the union.

Ngige, who appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, asked the union to meet with the Benimi Briggs Committee.

“It depends on ASUU. The ball is in their court. They should go and meet the Benimi Briggs Committee and look at what the committee is doing and make further inputs so that the work can be accelerated,” the minister said in response to when the strike would be called off.

Some of ASUU’s demands include the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the UTAS payment platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.

ASUU Strike: FG Gives Committee Three Months To Renegotiate With Union

ASUU, JAMB Act, amendment
ASUU logo.

 

The Federal Government has given its seven-person committee a deadline to conclude renegotiations of the 2009 Agreements reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The committee which is chaired by Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs, pro-Chancellor, Alex Ekweme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, has three months to conclude the renegotiation with ASUU.

Other members are Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Wukari, Arc. Lawrence Patrick Ngbale, who represents North East; Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Prof. Funmi Togunu-Bickersteth, representing South West and Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja, Senator Chris Adighije, representing South East.

READ ALSO: FG Inaugurates Committee To Renegotiate ASUU Agreement

Also on the team are Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Olu Obafemi from North-Central; Pro-Chancellor, Kano State University of Science & Technology, Prof. Zubairu Iliyasu, representing North West; and Pro-Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Mathew Seiyefa from South-South.

The committee is expected to review the draft proposed FGN/ASUU Agreement, and has the following Terms of Reference:
a. Liaise and consult with relevant stakeholders to finalise the position of the Federal Government to the issues in the draft proposed FGN/ASUU Renegotiated Agreement;
b. Renegotiate in realistic and workable terms the 2009 Agreements with other university-based unions;
c. Negotiate and recommend any other issue the committee deems relevant to reposition the NUS for global competitiveness; and
d. Submit proposed draft agreements within three (3) months from the date of inauguration.

Protest Rocks Adekunle Ajasin University Over Incessant Road Crashes

 

Students of Ondo State government-owned Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko have trooped to the streets to protest against incessant road crashes close to the university campus.

Over the years, many lives have been lost in such road crashes, usually caused by articulated vehicles passing by the route. The students were aggravated by the most recent of such road crashes that happened on Thursday night and claimed the life of a former student of the university, Michael Akinniyi.

The angry students were said to have pursued the trailer, which knocked down Michael, to a neighboring town Oba-Akoko where he was arrested.

Early Friday morning, some students converged at the main gate of the university chanting solidarity songs with placards having different inscriptions to express their grievances.

On Twitter, the hashtag, #SaveAkungba, was among the top trends as many joined the students in calling for action over the repeated accidents.

READ ALSO: Sanwo-Olu Stops Convoy For Two Out-Of-School Girls, Offers Scholarship

The students are calling on the authorities to intervene in the matter.

 

Meanwhile, the management of the university has postponed the ongoing examinations in order to douse the situation.

“In view of the accident that claimed the life of a former student late evening of yesterday, Thursday, 3rd February 2022, Management has decided to postpone today’s examinations,”  a statement from the school read.

“This is to honour the departed soul. A new date for the examinations will be announced later.”

Emefiele Calls For More Collaboration Between Universities And Key Industry Players

 

The Governor of the Central bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has asked managers of higher institutions of learning in the country to draw knowledge from curricula that cater to the modern realities of the country.

Mr Emefiele made the call during the 51st convocation lecture of the University of Lagos on Tuesday where he was invited as the guest speaker on the topic: National Development And Knowledge Economy In The Digital Age: Leapfrogging SMEs Into the 21st Century.

The CBN boss harped on the need for an enhanced learning experience for students as well as fostered innovation amongst faculty and staff in schools across the country.

 

In his presentation, Mr Emefiele said: “enhanced collaboration between universities and players in key sectors of our economy such as agriculture, manufacturing and ICT are necessary to enable implementation of sound ideas generated from our universities. For instance, universities in most developing countries have little or no formal linkages to industry. This often arises from the implementation of training curricula that is irrelevant to the industry, thereby, resulting in the production of ill-equipped graduates.”

 

As one of the steps to addressing that challenge, Emefiele advocated collaboration between institutions of higher learning and industry key players in key sectors of the economy.

Mr Emefiele maintained that “the current economic situation in Nigeria requires an accelerated adoption of knowledge to drive our developmental goals. The fast pace of growth and innovation in the digital space along with the large and growing population of vibrant youths places Nigeria on a vantage position to harness these potentials for accelerated development.”

He beamed his light on advanced economies whom he affirmed had adopted technology-driven development models rather than the previously adopted traditional factors of production including labour and capital.

The CBN governor identified SMEs as the backbone of national and economic development which he said is due to their contributions to GDP through employment generation and poverty eradication.

He gave identified SMEs as accounting for close to 90 per cent of total enterprises in most countries. In a report which he said is from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, 98 per cent of Chinese firms are SMEs, contributing around 68 per cent to exports and a whopping 60 per cent to Chinese’s GDP while employing 75per cent of the Chinese workforce. The experiences of Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong are like China with about 90 per cent of their industries classified as SMEs.

In spite of the numerous benefits of the SMEs to economic development and job creation, limited access to finance, inadequate infrastructure and poor digital penetration were some of the challenges Mr Emefiele identified to be confronting it.

To tackle those challenges, the CBN boss revealed some of the interventions of the apex bank to include the provision of support to selected higher institutions in the country to enhance training and quality as well as development of finance interventions to support SMEs.

Other programmes of the bank include the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme (SMECGS), Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Programme (YEDP); Agribusiness/Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS). Others are the Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDCs), National Collateral Registry(NCR), Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI), Targeted Credit Facility (TCF) and the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF).

Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund is another scheme through which Mr Emefiele said the CBN is channelling low-interest wholesale funds to the MSME segment.

So far, over N83.9 billion are reported to have been disbursed to 216,704 beneficiaries with a nine 9 per cent interest charge.

Former Vice presidential candidate, Pastor Tunde Bakare was the Chairman of the convocation lecture.

He advised graduating students to take up the attributes of respect for value, discipline, dedication, calculated risk, integrity and intelligence; attributes he said he learnt from his mother and have helped him through life.

Gunmen Abduct University Lecturer In Taraba

Strike: Students Ask Taraba Govt Address Issues Raised By Lecturers
A file photo of fornt gate of the Taraba State University in Jalingo.

 

Gunmen have abducted a lecturer from the staff quarters of the Taraba State University in Jalingo, the state capital.

The lecturer, identified as Umar Buba and Head of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management (Faculty of Agriculture), was kidnapped in the early hours of Sunday, said Professor Vincent Ado-Tenebe who is the Vice-Chancellor of the university.

Ado-Tenebe, who visited the scene of the incident, told Channels Television that the assailants fired sporadic gunshots to displace the security officials attached to the staff quarters during the attack.

“This is a very sad story, and it has not happened in the past two to three years ago when we had our Director of Information kidnapped after which we put so many strategies on the ground to prevent ugly situations in the future.

“I am so surprised that this happened again, and I know that we have police personnel, that of NSCDC, our security outfit, and vigilante group members hired by the institution to keep the place safe and despite all of these, the former Dean of Students Affair has been kidnapped,” he said.

The vice-chancellor, however, gave an assurance that more efforts would be put in place for more security operatives to be deployed, and stressed the need for more arms and ammunition to fight the hoodlums.

He stated that staff and students living within the confines of the school cannot challenge armed men with bare hands, noting that the management would engage concerned authorities to grant licences for staff to have their guns for their protection and that of the students.

He said, “If you have a licensed gun and you are trained, then you will be able to defend your family and the immediate community of students.

“We have grown past this, and I don’t think there is going to be any other solution than for us to apply for licencing of arms so that these bandits will know that we are equal to the task to defend the defenceless.”

Narrating how her husband was abducted, Umar’s wife, Samira, explained that they had just switched off their generator at about 12:15am when they heard a noise which they believed was a windstorm.

“When I met one of them, he asked me where my husband was, and I understood immediately that they were kidnappers. After I understood their plan, I offered myself to be taken as their target instead of my husband and I pleaded that I have a little baby whom I needed to go with and they rejected my offer, insisting that my husband was the target.

“When they gained access … they struggled to go with him (the victim) because he resisted. We have never heard that kind of gunshot in our entire lives,” she recounted.

The victim’s wife added that shortly after the incident, some security operatives arrived at the scene and went after the kidnappers through the bush paths but found nothing but charms, alcoholic drinks, and some clothes abandoned by the gunmen.

She stated that the abductors of her husband have not made any contact with the family to know what their demands were.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in Taraba, David Misal, said the police were on the trail of the kidnappers to rescue the lecturer.

He also called on the residents to provide the police with useful information that would aid the rescue of the abducted lecturer.

Three Abducted Greenfield University Students Found Dead

greenfield-university
Kaduna State has been a target for kidnappers in recent times.

 

Three students of the Greenfield University in Kaduna State who were abducted by bandits suspected to be kidnappers have been killed by their abductors.

The students were among those that were abducted by bandits from the private university located along the Kaduna- Abuja highway on Tuesday night.

Confirming the development, the Kaduna State Commissioner for internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said the remains of three students were found on Friday in Kwanan Bature village, a location close to the university and have been evacuated to a mortuary by himself and the Force Commander, Operation Thunder Strike, Lieutenant Colonel MH Abdullahi.

The armed bandits on Tuesday night kidnapped an unspecified number of students at the institution located at Kasarami village off Kaduna-Abuja Road in Chikun local government area of Kaduna State.

Eyewitnesses had said the gunmen stormed the university and started shooting sporadically, before taking some of the students away.

READ ALSO: One Killed During Attack On Private University In Kaduna, Says Commissioner

The locals said that the university with about forty students population does not have enough security on the ground, despite being located in one of the epicenters of kidnapping, a situation which they believe made it easier for the bandits to gain easy access into the institution.

In recent times, Kaduna has been facing series of attacks by bandits including assaults on schools.

On March 11, they attacked the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization Afaka in the Igabi Local Government Area of the state and kidnapped 39 students.

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has condemned the killing of the three students as sheer wickedness, inhumanity and an outright desecration of human lives by vile entities.

He said that the armed bandits represented the worst of humankind and must be fought at all cost for the violent wickedness they represent.

Evil, the governor further said, would not triumph over God-given humanity. He appealed to citizens to come together against the forces of darkness challenging national security and the very existence of the Nigerian State.

El-Rufai, on behalf of the Government and the people of Kaduna State, sent deep condolences and empathy to the students’ families and the university community, as he prayed for the repose of their souls.

Professor Akinwumi Appointed Vice-Chancellor Of Federal University, Lokoja

A file photo of the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor the Federal University of Lokoja, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi.

 

The Governing Council of the Federal University of Lokoja has appointed Professor Olayemi Akinwumi as the third Vice-Chancellor of the tertiary institution.

Chairman of the Council, Senator Chris Adighije, announced this on Friday on the premises of the university in the Kogi State capital.

He explained that the process of the appointment of a new vice-chancellor started in September when the institution declared the position vacant through publication in a national newspaper.

Senator Adighije noted that following the publication, the Council received 81 applications from various parts of the country.

He added that the applications were subjected to due process and a search party was constituted to look for people that were qualified but did not apply, leading to the shortlisting of 20 out of 81 applicants.

READ ALSO: ‘How I Became President’, Buhari Inspires Kankara Boys To Return To School

The Council chairman stated that the selection board, made up of two external members of the Council and two internal members from the Senate of the institution and himself, met on Thursday and conducted interviews for 14 applicants who appeared before the board.

He said at the end of the interviews that lasted a few hours, the selection board came up with three names according to their scores.

“Professor Olayemi Durotimi Akinwumi, who is currently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Nasarawa State University came first, Professor Akintayo Emmanuel Temitope from Ekiti State came second, while Professor Krekere Tawari Fufeye from Bayelsa came third.

“The Council met this morning (Friday) to deliberated on the names and approved the appointment of Professor Olayemi Durotimi as the third Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Lokoja to take over from Professor Angella Miri whose tenure has elapsed,” Senator Adighije said.

He described the process of selection as a seamless one and thanked the members of the Council for their patience and perseverance which led to the peaceful conduct of the appointment of the new vice-chancellor.

What Brexit Means For EU Students At UK Universities

An official hangs a Union Jack next to an European Union flag at EU Headquarters in Brussels on October 17, 2019, ahead of a European Union Summit on Brexit. Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

 

The end of the Brexit transition period on December 31 will introduce new rules for European Union students who want to study in Britain during the 2020-21 academic year.

– What is the current situation? –

The situation for an estimated 150,000 EU students has been unchanged during the transition period to December 31, as the UK and EU try to agree terms of their new relationship.

Currently, EU students have “home fee status”, which means they pay the same level of tuition fees as UK counterparts, depending where the university is.

Education policy is set by devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with the UK government responsible for England. As a result, tuition fees vary.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, students with home fee status can be charged up to £9,250 ($12,400, 10,250 euros) per year for an undergraduate degree.

READ ALSO: Mass Evacuation In Frankfurt As WWII Bomb Is Defused

Scottish or EU undergraduates studying in Scotland are not charged.

EU students are eligible to apply for a student loan to cover tuition fees.

Ireland has separate arrangement with the UK under a reciprocal agreement.

– What happens on January 1? –

All EU citizens have to apply for residency status under the Settlement Scheme, which grants the right to live and study in UK when new immigration rules kick in.

Students who start a degree course at some point in the 2020/21 academic year and arrive in the UK by December 31 will still have home fee status.

New students arriving after this date will need a student visa that costs about £350 if they are studying in the UK for more than six months.

They will also have to pay a surcharge of about £500 per year to use the state-run National Health Service (NHS).

– What happens in the next academic year?

Across the UK, EU students starting courses after August 1, 2021 look set to pay higher international tuition fees and not be allowed to get UK student loans.

– How much will they have to pay? –

According to the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine, undergraduate tuition fees for an international student in 2020 were between £10,000 and £26,000 a year.

A longer undergraduate medical degree can cost foreign students nearly £59,000.

Undergraduate degrees in the UK typically require three years of study.

Average student debt was £27,000 this year, according to the THE, but that does not include repayment of maintenance loans to cover living costs.

Together, this can total between £35,000 and £40,000.

– What is not known or agreed yet? –

London and Brussels have yet to strike a deal on their future relationship.

It remains unclear if Britain will continue to participate in EU academic programmes such as Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe beyond the end of this academic year.

The UK government has set out guidelines for EU students to apply for student visas.

But there is uncertainty about whether students who have already gained settled or pre-settled status in the UK will be able to pay home status tuition fees for courses starting in 2021-22.

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced a suspension of face-to-face tuition and travel restrictions, many overseas students are studying remotely outside the UK.

If they do not visit the UK this year, it is not clear if they can still qualify for pre-settled status.

AFP

Uganda Makerere University’s ‘Ivory Tower’ Ravaged By Fire

A fire remains inside the burnt building at the Ivory Tower of Makerere University in Kampala on September 20, 2020. – Makerere was established in 1922 as a humble technical school, but today is one of Africa’s oldest and most prestigious English universities. Built between 1938 and 1941, the university today has 35,000 students and 3,000 postgraduates. (Photo by Badru KATUMBA / AFP)

 

A huge fire has destroyed part of the main building of Uganda’s prestigious Makerere University, one of Africa’s oldest, police said Sunday.

“The fire is believed to have started from the roof spreading to floors that house both records and finance departments,” said Kampala deputy police spokesman Luke Oweyesigire.

“A lot of property has been destroyed. Investigations are ongoing to ascertain the cause of the fire,” which started around 1 am (2200 GMT).

 

Makerere was established in 1922 as a humble technical school, but today is one of Africa’s oldest and most prestigious English universities. Built between 1938 and 1941, the university today has 35,000 students and 3,000 postgraduates. (Photo by Badru KATUMBA / AFP)

 

“It is a very dark morning for Makerere University. Our iconic Main Administration Building caught fire and the destruction is unbelievable,” tweeted Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, the institution’s vice-chancellor.

Nawangwe pledged everything would be done to “restore the building to its historic state in the shortest time possible” as the university tweeted video footage of flamed engulfing the building.

 

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the Ivory Tower of Makerere University in Kampala on September 20, 2020.  (Photo by Badru KATUMBA / AFP)

 

Makerere was established in 1922 as a humble technical school, but today is one of Africa’s oldest and most prestigious English universities.

Built between 1938 and 1941, the university today has 35,000 students and 3,000 postgraduates.

 

 

-AFP