Senate backs ASUU, urges   FG to resolve issues 

The Senate has called on the federal government to address the demands
of the Academic Staff Union on Universities (ASUU) to end the strike
by members of the union.

ASUU on Sunday commenced  industrial action over poor funding of
Nigerian universities and alleged plans by the federal government to
increase student fees and introduce an education bank.

Led by its national President, Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU declared the
strike at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting late
on Sunday in Akure, Ondo State.

About 24 hours after the strike commenced, the Minister of Education,
Adamu Adamu, said the federal government does not have the financial
power to meet the demands of the union.

He said the crash in the prices of oil globally has affected Nigeria –
which he said, had dire consequences on all sectors of the economy,
including education.

A senator, Shehu Sani (PRP, Kaduna Central), yesterday described the
strike as a national problem. He explained that since 1992, Nigerians
was faced with strike after strike which led to repeated shutdowns of
universities.

He also stated that the issues raised by ASUU are genuine.

“The federal government needs to fund public universities. The issues
raised by ASUU are in the best interest of education in Nigeria and it
is also in the best interest of the young people.

“Our universities need adequate funding. Our universities need
adequate attention. The strike should not be seen as an act of
confrontation but an attempt by ASUU to bring to the spotlight, the
plight of public universities in Nigeria.

“Public universities have been underfunded and sometimes people wonder
whether the universities we have are simply glorified secondary
schools. This action should be an opportunity for each and every one
of us to draw the attention of the authorities that are concerned to
fund universities, to listen to ASUU and to see that the issues which
they raised, are squarely addressed,” he said.

In his remark, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said it is
important that government honour agreement that has been reached as
soon as possible so the strike can be called off. He also urged ASUU
to bear in mind, the interest of all Nigerians and ensure that they
find an amicable solution to the issue.

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