By Olisemeka Obeche
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has disclosed that the federal government does not have the resources to meet the momentary demands of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). The minister told newsmen in Abuja that the crash in the prices of oil globally has affected the economic fortunes of Nigeria. According to him, the oil price crash had dire consequences on all sectors of the economy, including education.
ASUU declared an indefinite strike last Sunday after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Akure, Ondo State. The latest industrial action, which commenced on Monday was blamed on the government’s delay in implementing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) government agreed to in 2017, including to compel government to conclude the renegotiation of other agreements also collectively reached in 2009.
The National President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, while announcing the commencement of the strike, re-echoed the insincerity of government in meeting their demands.
“Having waited patiently for action and meaningful negotiation with reasonable men, using the principle of collective bargaining, ASUU, at its NEC meeting of 3rd and 4th November 2018, at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), resolved to resume the nationwide strike action it suspended in September 2017, with immediate effect.
“This strike will be total, comprehensive and indefinite. Our members shall withdraw their services until government fully implement(s) all outstanding issues as contained in the MOA of 2017, and concludes the renegotiation of the 2009 agreements. We have today, been subjected to 20 years of continued re-colonization under alleged democracy,” he said. He alleged that all the ruling circle have been doing is regrouping themselves in the various factions they call political parties.
The ASUU president noted the release of a paltry N20 billion revitalisation fund whereas the government released N1.3 trillion to a distressed bank recently.
He maintained that the government was not interested in public universities as the children of the top politicians and rich men in the society patronised private universities at the detriment of public institutions.