Posted by Emmanuel Tyokumbur, Ibadan | 11 December 2013 | 3,779 times
Recently, government declared that if it were to implement the ASUU/FGN 2009 Agreement, it would shut down its operations. While this is unfortunate, it only goes to show the level of insincerity and interest government has shown on education, if not disdain.
Apart from this assertion being economical of the truth, it does not explain why government went into the agreement wholeheartedly for the betterment of the universities and educational sector in general in the first instance.
May be government needs to reminded that when it allegedly paid trillions of naira to the so-called oil importers who never supplied a drop of petroleum products, the country was not shut down even though this amount represented about half of the entire budget for the year. The truth is that when it comes to education, government usually becomes reluctant even though implementing the agreements will not hamper the smooth running of government operations but rather uplift it.
Enough of the time wasted so far and the hardline posture of government. What this imbroglio shows is that it does not care about its own honour inherent in honouring agreements. Or are we to believe that it was a deceptive ploy to hoodwink stakeholders and Nigerian people that it was committed to uplifting the universities?
One wonders where the interventionist spirit of the government had gone when similar support had been offered to banking and entertainment industries as well as railways in their hour of need. What government does not realise or is ignoring is that the sector also voted massively for it to come to power and, as it is with dividends of democracy elsewhere, deserves to be treated fairly in the scheme of things, the least of which is the implementation of the 2009 ASUU/FGN agreement which has been there even before the 2011 elections.
President Jonathan, at whose table the buck stops, must therefore as a matter of urgency treat his own kind and “constituency” with fairness by setting up a committee to implement the 2009 ASUU/FGN agreement to bring back life to the universities. After all, government’s honour is at stake.
•Emmanuel Tyokumbur is of the Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan. He can be reached through 07041466464 (Text only) or by e-mail: email@example.com. Photo shows President Jonathan.
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