We Don’t Have Financial Power To Meet Your Demands Now – FG Begs ASUU
The federal government of Nigeria on Monday night disclosed that it did not have the financial power now to meet the demands of the Academy Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who said this at a press conference in Abuja, also appealed to the striking ASUU members to exercise restraint in their demands from the government, adding that their problems with the government began during the Umaru Yar’Adua administration in 2009.
The minister said the Federal Government would have fulfilled its obligations to ASUU if international oil prices had not crashed after 2009.
Adamu said previous administrations made promises to the union when the economy was buoyant.
He said the Federal Government provided an agreement in 2009 for funding of universities to the tune of N1.3tn over a period of six years.
Adamu said, “Let me begin by saying that the issues necessitating this strike date back to 2009 when the then government of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua signed an agreement with ASUU on the funding of federal universities. The agreement provided for funding of universities to the tune of N1.3tn over a period of six years. It is instructive to know that Nigeria was experiencing oil boom at that time. It was therefore expected that government would meet the terms of agreement.
“However, international oil prices crashed in subsequent years, thereby throwing the country into an economic hardship. At the inception of this administration, the country’s economic fortunes worsened, nose-diving into a 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.
“Against this background, I want to appeal to all parents, students and in particular ASUU women and men to continue to exercise restraint in terms of their response to the plight of the education sector. We must also be mindful that there are other sectors with similar competing needs.”
ASUU, on Monday, embarked on an indefinite strike after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Akure, Ondo State, on Sunday.
ASUU’s current strike is hinged on delays in implementing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the government agreed to in 2017, including to compel government to conclude the renegotiation of other agreements also collectively reached in 2009.