The Nigerian Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has told the country that the Federal Government is unable to meet the demands of striking lecturers in Public Universities across the country.
Nigerian Lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an indefinite strike and withdrew their services across public universities in the country citing, inadequate funding and failure on the part of the Nigerian Government to honour its part of an agreement signed between both parties in 2009.
Reacting to the indefinite strike declared by ASUU after its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Akure, the Minister for Education told newsmen in Abuja, the Nigerian capital that the striking lecturers should empathize with the government.
According to Adamu Adamu;
“I must say that this is difficult to reconcile with all the efforts and positive achievements we have been able to make.
The Issues necessitating this strike date back to 2009 when the then government of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua signed an agreement with the ASUU on funding of the federal universities.
The agreement provided for funding of universities to the tune of N1.3trillion over a period of six years. It is instructive to know that Nigeria was experiencing the oil boom at that time. It was, therefore, expected that government will be able to meet the terms of agreement.
However, international oil prices crashed in subsequent years, thereby throwing the country into economic hardship. At the inception of this administration, the country’s economic fortunes worsened, nose diving into 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. In other words, the wellbeing of the education sector and any other sector of the country’s economy is a function of the international oil prices; this is the stack reality for now, which all of us must acknowledge and accept.”
The Minister concluded by urging Nigerian Parents as well as the students and striking lecturers to exercise restraint in reacting to the response of government towards funding in the education sector.