…lingering strike shows FG’s priority on education
By Linda Musa
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), has said that the President Muhammandu Buhari-led government can resolve the major issues that caused the total shutdown of tertiary education in Nigeria, and reopen the schools within 48hours if truly it is serious with governance.
TUC said, for a Federal government that used about N1.4 billion to buy cars for a sovereign nation; Niger Republic, to go about telling its citizens that it doesn’t have what it take to keep the country’s university education functional, it’s indeed shameful and embarrassing.
Also, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, warn government not to allow the strike to linger to point that workers resort to self help. He added that it will be a display of irresponsibility to highest level for government to say it doesn’t have what it take to end ongoing strike.
The newly elected President of the Trade Union Congress, Comrade (Engr) Festus Osifo, who said this when he responded to questions from journalists after the Congres’ National Executive Council meeting in Abuja , went further to say that the current APC-led government has shown its total refusal to take-up the required political will to profer solutions to the challenges that are not alien in the palace of governance.
TUC further frown at the dilydaly manner which the Federal government are handling a crisis that involves the future of Nigerian students, which it said isnby extention future the country.
“You will agree with me that where is a will, there is always a way. Recently the same Federal government that is giving excuses on resolving the issues that caused the tertiary education in Nigeria closed for about 5 months, spends about N1.4 billion to buy vehicles and donate to the government of Niger.
“If government is serious, i tell you it wikk resolve this strike issue and open out schools within 48hours. Evidently, it is the value that is placed on education and in our university system is what we are seing today. It is not about finances, rather it’s about the priority. It is about what they choose to prioritize. And if education does not worth to be a top priority of the government of a country, then it is shameful and pitiable.
So it is actually the will. When the will is strong, the way will actually be found. I reiterate, it is about the will and the value the government place on education.” The TUC, said.
Meanwhile, earlier on Friday in an interview with journalists on a TV show, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), said that the Federal government cannot say it doesn’t have what it takes neither does it need to borrow money from anywhere yo resolve the issues that led to the ongoing shrike in the country’s university education sector.
Wabba, who is also the President of the International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC), also said that the figures some government officials are parading around as what it will take to resolve the strike is not coreect.
“My advice to government is that it should not instigate workers to deployed their powers as a matter of last resort. We have made our case on ASUU strike and the issues are very clear. I advice also that people especially government officials should actually separate facts from fictitious and information that are not correct.
"Everybody in Nigeria should speak nothing but the truth on this issues. We should actually play less politics about the issue, we should speak about the substance of the issue and how to resolve it.
"It will be an act of irresponsibility for anybody to say that these issues doesn't matter and that they don't have solutions.
"Part of the burden of leadership is actually to find solution and address issues.
“Briggs Committee made a recommendations in a report and the report us with the government. Government is considering the report snd the way reports are considered is that they can strike a balance to look at the issues. So the actual figure is not near the figure that is being paraded around.”
He also retorted; “No justifiable reason is good enough to give as to why government cannot resolve the issues without further delay. This is beacuse we are toying with the future of Nigerian children. A whole academic year has been lost. And that is why NLC has to wade in.”