The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has responded to the two weeks ultimatum given by President Muhammadu Buhari to expedite action of the lingering crisis between the Federal government and the striking lecturers.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke said it will not take more than two days to address the issues that have plunged the nation’s public university system into a prolonged strike that is currently in its fifth month.
He further revealed that ASUU had concluded negotiations with the government and was only waiting for the ministers to sign the agreement reached with the university lecturers.
He also slammed the Federal Government for failing to prioritise education in Nigeria, adding that the woes bedevilling the sector will not end until the ruling elite are forced to train their children in public schools.
“Two weeks is too long,” he said. “The issue of renegotiation has been completed by both sides. Just come back to us and say ‘we have agreed’, that will not take two days. We were told they spent billions to feed children in school; is that correct, how many children have you seen being fed?
“Nigerians spend not less than N200 billion as school fees paid to Ghanaian universities every year. Government should prioritise education as number one in the country because all of us must pass through the school.”
“Your universities are closed for five months, you did not release N100 billion, but you released money to share in villages because election is coming. It is the priority you place on education.
“Government should prioritise education as number one priority in the country, because all of us here, wherever you are, you must pass through the school. Now that you have killed it, we are wasting our money on foreign countries.
“Last year, according to CBN, Nigerians spent N1.6 trillion as school fees to other countries. N1.6 trillion will turn around all the universities in Nigeria and bring them to standard and people will come from outside. We go outside; nobody comes in.
“For this strike, universities are shut down. Those who run the affairs of Nigeria – national assembly and executive arm – they do not have any problem. Their children are not here. If the children of all the ministers and senators are all in our public universities, this will not last two days.
“When the aviation people wanted to shut down, the national assembly called them immediately and settled them overnight because fear could not allow them pass through roads. They quickly resolved it.”