The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to end the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities about three months ago.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, emphasised the need for Nigeria’s universities to be re-opened without further delay.
He noted that the education of Nigeria’s young people was being negatively affected by the stance of the government and also disenfranchising the youths, many of whom were registered to vote in their universities, but were now stuck in their homes.
He said, “In November 2016, the Senate intervened in the ASUU strike and met with the officials of the ministries of Education and Labour, Employment and Productivity and ASUU.
“At that meeting, which was attended by the Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwuka, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, we agreed that the Federal Government should work to implement the agreement it reached with ASUU in 2009.
“We subsequently set up a sub-committee to liaise with both ASUU and the Federal Government on this issue.
“The Federal Government must immediately work to address the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities because this issue goes beyond negotiations.
“It is affecting the education of Nigeria’s students and disenfranchising many of them from participating in the upcoming general elections.
“Make no mistake, we cannot continue this system whereby our universities will be frequently shut, thereby slowing down the education of our young people and creating bottlenecks that place unnecessary stress on our universities.
“In another vein, our youths make up over 51 per cent of registered voters. What does this mean for our electoral process when young students who are registered to vote in their academic institutions cannot do so because their schools are shut? This is unacceptable.
“In this regard, I call on the Federal Government to immediately work on meeting the demands of ASUU and honour all its prior commitments.”
Saraki said the senate would continue to work to ensure that Nigeria’s education sector was strengthened even as he expressed his determination to collaborate with both the Federal Government and ASUU to end the strike.
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