A former Secretary of the Nigeria University Commission (NUC), Prof. Peter Okebukola has urged the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to make compromises, so as to resolve the current nationwide strike by the union.
Okebukola who made the call in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Malete, said: “dialogue was necessary to provide an ambient environment for more dialogue”.
”We can see the genuineness and commitment of the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu to restore the glory of our educational system by declaring a state of emergency in the education sector.
”This means that he is aware of what ASUU is clamouring for and has started taking steps to address many of the issues.
”It is clear that the issue of funding of our Universities has been weakly served by the proprietors of our public universities leading to unacceptable level of decay in the sector.
”This is the reason for the declaration of the state of emergency which will address all burning issues in education including those raised by ASUU and other concerned stakeholders,” Okebukola said.
He added that the Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed has developed the 2019 to 2023 Blueprint for the Rapid Revitalisation of the Nigerian University system.
”All the issues raised by ASUU for government and other stakeholders to solve are contained in this blueprint,” Okebukola said.
”Most of the public universities are poorly funded and the least the state government can do is to pick up wages of the staff.
”But, reverse is the case in almost all the schools, leaving them to fund themselves,” the professor said.
NAN reports that ASUU on Sunday declared an indefinite nationwide strike.ASUU accused the government of not implementing the Memorandum of Action signed with it, saying industrial would be total as all federal and state universities would join the strike.ASUU announced the strike after their National Executive Council meeting held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State.ASUU president, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi said all effort made by the union to make the government implement the agreement between them fell on deaf ears.
“Having waited patiently for action and meaningful negotiation with reasonable men using the principle of collective bargaining that ASUU at its NEC meeting of Nov. 3 and Nov. 4 at the 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 the government fully implements all outstanding issues as contained in the MOA of 2017, and concludes the renegotiation of the 2009 agreements.
“We have today (Sunday) been subjected to 20 years of continued re-colonisation under alleged democracy in which all the ruling class have been regrouping among themselves in their various factions they called political parties,” Ogunyemi said.
Ogunyemi alleged that the government was not interested in public universities because their children and the children of top politicians and rich men in the society patronise private universities at the detriment of public institutions.
NAN reports that in September, ASUU threatened to go on strike if the Federal Government fails to implement the 2017 FGN/ASUU agreement.
But the union called off the planned industrial action after reaching an agreement with the Federal Government that their demands would be implemented before the end of October.
Meanwhile, the government recently approved the immediate release of N20b to ASUU to improve public universities across the country.
However, ASUU rejected the funds saying it is “too little, too late.”