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We’ve No Business With Parents, They Should Beg FG

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has stated that parents of Nigerian students should beg the federal government to keep the promises it made to the Union in order to end the six-month strike.

According to ASUU, because the federal government employs university lecturers, it has no business dealing with the parents.

ASUU National President Professor Emmanuel Osodeke revealed this in an interview with Vanguard on Saturday.

Osodeke said this in response to a statement by Festus Keyamo, Minister of Labour and Productivity, who said that parents should beg ASUU to call off the strike.

Six-month strike with no progress

The lecturers of public universities have embarked on strike since February 14 and it entered its sixth month on August 14 as the demands are yet to be met by the government.

A number of meetings and committees were inaugurated to resolve the crisis but all to no avail.

President Muhammadu Buhari gave a two-week ultimatum to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu to resolve the crisis but it has elapsed with no solution.

The President, on Friday, inaugurated another committee headed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, to review Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS), the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS) over irregularities.

The Union, however, has stated that the adoption of a transparent payment platform University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS) is critical to resolving the current strike action.

Our parents are not our bosses.

When asked if the parents had made formal requests to the Union and if anything had been done recently, Osodeke replied, “You should ask the government that.” We have done what the Union should have done. That query should be addressed to the government. We have done one and they have not responded; we will not compel them to respond. We do not have any contact with the parents of Nigerian students. Our parents are not our bosses. As a result, we have no relationship with them. Instead, they should beg the government.

“We are requesting that the federal government adequately fund education.” We’re simply asking the federal government to fund education in accordance with the agreement.

ASUU president said that the accumulation of funds the government should pump into its tertiary education is worth N2.3 trillion since 2013, and added that it has not spent up to N50 billion till date.

“And two, to respect the agreement it made with ASUU that it will put N2.3 trillion over six years into Nigerian universities as far back as 2013. So by now we’ve moved on and up till now they’ve not even given up to N50 billion since they’ve been in power,” Osodeke said.

Expectations from presidential candidates
According to ASUU, Nigerians should watch and listen closely to the presidential candidates and vote for whoever has the interest of Nigerian education in mind.

“Nigerians should look at the candidate that will be willing to fund education, and that will have the interest of Nigerian students, and the interest of the Nigerian people, that’s the candidate Nigerians should look out for.

“And the difference for us in ASUU is that we haven’t seen any of them who are willing to do anything?” And have all of the promises made by this and other regimes been fulfilled? They will say all sorts of things before being elected, but will they follow through on them? What information did they provide to Nigerians about the system? “However, when they came to power, everything changed,” he added.

Strike duration

When asked if the current strike is the longest in recent memory and what should be done, the don responded, “We are not interested in the length.” We are not keeping any records in case the government wants to look into it. We simply want the