kiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has lamented that the interview he granted in France when he accompanied President Mohammadu Buhari has been misconstrued as a direct comment on salaries of professors and undue meddling in the affairs of ASUU.
Reactions have been trailing the governor’s comment on the salary of professor, which allegedly said was higher than his salary.
But according to him, the thrust of the media interview was the need for honest debate on basic and tertiary education in the country.
“The reference to salaries of professors was only a light-hearted response to the question as to whether the governor thought university professors were well paid.”
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Yinka Oyebode which was made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti yesterday, he said contrary to the insinuations that the Governor’s interview took place during the President’s interactive session with the Nigerian Community; the interview actually took place a day after the event.
“What Governor Fayemi did in the interview was an appraisal of the country’s educational system, while emphasising that the Buhari administration, more than the previous administrations, had made substantial investment in the sector, which must be acknowledged.”
The Governor said it was unfortunate that that some chapters of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has given the said interview various interpretations.
Fayemi said that he merely alluded to the fact that the union and indeed tertiary institutions have fared better under the President Mohammadu Buhari administration.
He said that the purpose of the interview was not an attempt to meddle in the affairs of the union as alleged by some of its chapters.
“As someone who is from the university system, there is no way Dr. Fayemi can denigrate professors and the teaching profession.
“But if we genuinely want to improve education standard, academics cannot be afraid or contemptuous of sincere debate about the future of education.
“It must be stated that regardless of divergent opinions of critical stakeholders in the education sector, a robust debate is needed to reposition the sector. This must be done as a matter of urgency.”