An education enthusiast and security/trade expert, Adekunle Adebayo Ayoola has said that it is unfortunate that many Nigerians think that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had embarked on a six monthly old strike to push for an increase in salaries.
Adekunle Ayoola said that he was always sad when many parents, critics and analysts on Radio and television stations are always quick to blame ASUU for the ongoing strike alluding to reasons why the lecturers had been on strike to agitation for an increase in wages
The security expert explained that whereas, the leadership of the union under Prof Emmanuel Osodeke has always shouted that the strike is about preserving our public universities and ensuring that they have what it takes to continue producing graduates that could help to add value to the country’s development.
He said “central to this avoidable industrial dispute is the pleading by the ASUU that the government should sign and begin implementation of the 2009 renegotiated agreement between the union and Federal Government.
“At the core of this agreement that was also said to have been examined again and again in 2020 and 2021 is the issue of funding for our universities among others such that the all-encompassing needs of the universities on infrastructure, researching and training, remunerations among others would have been taken care of.
“There’s no doubt that the dilly-dallying posture of our government in proper funding of these ivory towers has left many of them in sorry condition and this should not be allowed to continue”, he said
Ayoola disclosed that it might be essential for ASUU to publicise as widely as possible the agreement it entered into with the federal government to halt the misconception some people have about its desire to save the public universities from further rot and of course, to ensure that Nigerians who could not afford the exorbitant cost of private university education could access government-owned universities.
He said “though both the federal and state government have complained of lack of resources to meet ASUU’s demands which are for the good of all in the country, given the place of education in the overall development of any society, governments at both the federal and state level must begin to show genuine commitment to ending this strike.
“The government should stop going back and forth over an agreement it willfully entered into and which had been examined and renegotiated over and over again. The government should be sincere with proper funding of our education sector. No country jokes with the education of its citizens and gets clapped for, FG should help end this strike now!”.