Former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba , has apologised to Nigerian students over the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), saying his children are also affected.
He tendered the apology during his appearance on a TV interview on Sunday, 15th May, 2022.
He said: “I do apologize to Nigerian students because as their minister, I will take responsibility. But also, on behalf of the Federal Government, I would say ‘please understand what the issues are,”
“All my four children have passed through Nigerian universities. I still have two who are at home now, because they are all in public universities.” he said
The former Minister said the Federal Government is working on a financial framework for universities as part of efforts to resolve the constant strike action by university professors in public schools.
‘I have proposed, and the Minister of Education (Adamu Adamu) will continue discussing this with Mr. President, a new scheme in which universities have a different way of earning money to be able to care for themselves,”he said.
‘There are only 50 of these federal universities and there are 200 others. However, these 50 alone are more than 75 percent of the number of students in the entire university structure – about 2.2m of them,” Nwajiuba added.
‘So, it is important we give them a funding structure; we need to bring a funding structure to the table because this coming hand-in-cap to the Federal Government at all times cannot be continued and is not sustainable.”
According to him, university lecturers should find other means to press home their demands instead of going on strikes.
‘In the last 20 years, we have had nearly 16 strikes. So, my position has not been that ‘Please, ASUU is talking rubbish’,” Nwajiuba said. “No, this is not true. ASUU is making a case for the entire university system.
‘The only point of departure is that we have asked ASUU that strikes cannot cure the problem”.
His remark came after ASUU’s strike, which had been in effect since February 14, had been extended. The lecturers claim that the Federal Government has refused to listen to their demands.
Story: Ralia Adama
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