Efforts by the Senate to prohibit sexual harassment in tertiary institutions yesterday suffered a setback as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) vehemently kicked against its passage, saying that if passed the Bill would hamper university autonomy.
ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, stated this at a public hearing on the Bill organised by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters in Abuja yesterday.
According to him, “As a global norm, universities and other tertiary institutions are established by law as autonomous bodies and have their own laws regulating their affairs.
“This includes misconduct generally among both staff and students, clearly articulated appropriate redress mechanism.
“Any law or bill which seeks to supplant these laws violates the university autonomy.
“In this particular instance, the bill violates the Federal Government of Nigeria and ASUU agreement of 2009 and as such should be rejected.”
He also condemned the bill as being discriminatory arguing that it was targeted at lecturers.
The ASUU President said it was unfair for the Senate to have come up with such a bill, stressing that sexual harassment is a societal problem and not peculiar to tertiary institutions.