- FG Can’t Meet ASUU’s Demands Now – Adamu
The Federal Government has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to cut the government some slack in their demands.
Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education, said ASUU’s issue with the government started during former president Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration in 2009.
The minister, who was attending a conference in Abuja on Monday, however said the government would have fulfilled its obligations to ASUU if global oil prices had not crashed.
Adamu said, “The issues necessitating this strike date back to 2009 when the then government of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua signed an agreement with ASUU on the funding of federal universities. The agreement provided for funding of universities to the tune of N1.3tn over a period of six years. It is instructive to know that Nigeria was experiencing oil boom at that time. It was therefore expected that government would meet the terms of agreement.”
“However, international oil prices crashed in subsequent years, thereby throwing the country into an economic hardship. At the inception of this administration, the country’s economic fortunes worsened, nose-diving into a recession, with dire consequences on all sectors of the economy, including education.”
“We exited recession not too long ago, and we are just beginning to recover from the consequences of low oil prices, which are happily beginning to pick up. If this trend continues, definitely, the education sector will also improve.”
“Against this background, I want to appeal to all parents, students and in particular ASUU women and men to continue to exercise restraint in terms of their response to the plight of the education sector. We must also be mindful that there are other sectors with similar competing needs.”
Lecturers have commenced strike in some universities, a situation that has paralysed activities in the affected institutions.
ASUU blamed the government for failing to implement at least three areas in their Memorandum of Action signed on September 14, 2017.
Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, President of the Union, said these areas included failure of the government to pay the remaining N200 billion of an agreed N220 billion and failure to carry out a Forensic Audit of the earned academic allowances of the lecturers since 2017.