Posted by News Express | 12 September 2013 | 4,480 times
Nigerian activists under the umbrella of the Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) have given the Nigerian Government a week to resolve its disagreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and thus end the strike that has crippled the countries public universities since July 1.
ACN in a statement issued this afternoon in Abuja and signed by its Executive Secretary, Otunba Dino Melaye, argued that the government has the resources to meet ASUU’s demands if it gets its priorities right.
Said ACN: “The on-going face-off between the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities is a reflection of bad government and keeping quiet would tangible the proverbial adult who while at home, allowed the she-goat to suffer the pains of parturition on its tether.
“UNESCO and United Nations have recommended that 24 percent of the budget of every country that is a member of UN should be dedicated to education. What we have as budget for education in Nigeria is less than three percent and N92 billion is what the Federal Government cannot provide for ASUU. But the same reckless government budgeted N245 billion for subsidy and ended up spending N2.3 trillion, over N2 trillion above the budget.
“When it is convenient for the Federal government, they will borrow money. They just went to China to secure a loan of $1.1 billion US. Why is it difficult for the Federal Government to raise N92 billion to solve the problem of education in this country? Education is the bedrock of every development; it is the bedrock of any nation. It is shameful that the Federal Government is showing this lackadaisical posture towards the next generation.
“If the Federal Government is serious, there is something in the parliament that is called virement. There are lots of contracts that have been budgeted for in this dispensation that they have not even started in this month of September.
“All the Federal Government needed to do is for the President to write the National Assembly and seek for a virement or even take a loan. They can spend money on frivolities, they can spend money on very many unreasonable things. But the Federal Government cannot source for N92 billion. Above all the Federal Government has shown that is is not a responsible government. The Federal Government as far back as 2009 went into an agreement with ASUU and signed that agreement. Why will you agree to what you don’t intend to do? A gentleman will go into an agreement and then carry out the agreement to the latter. The agreement was made in 2009; why was there no budgetary provision for that agreement in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013?
“Why would the Federal Government enter into an agreement they don’t intend to implement? So we are giving them one week of grace and if by Friday next week, the Federsl Government did not resolve its crisis with ASUU, we will mobilize Nigerians, students and parents from every facet of our life to be on the streets to protest against this reckless and irresponsible government.
“For emphasis, I repeat: we are giving the Federal Government one week of grace concerning the ASUU strike. By Friday next week, if the Federal Government refuses to resolve the ASUU crisis, we will mobilize parents and students across the country and protest to the Federal Ministry of Education where we will register our protest against an insensitive government.”
•Photo shows Acting Education Minister Nyesom Wike.
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