Engr. David Umahi the Governor of Ebonyi State, Wednesday said to end the lingering ASUU strike, both federal government and the academic staff union need to understand each other.
That government of Nigeria cannot borrow 1.1 trillion to meet the demand of the union even though their demand was genuine.
Umahi spoke in his office at Centenary City, Abakaliki the state capital when he received a delegation of Board of Trustee of Nigeria Police Trust Fund led by Ben Akabueze.
The governor called on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government to show some understanding in their negotiations on the half a year strike.
Umahi said students have taken to social vices and are idling way because of the lingering industrial action and urged ASUU and FG to understand each other and opened universities to enable the students return to school and save the education system from collapse.
According to him, the demands of ASUU were genuine, but there was no way the country can borrow the sum of N1.1trn to meet the demands, there was need for the government to begin to address the demands little by little.
He emphasized that the major difficulties of the country as security, health and education.
“let me say a little in education which is in our public domain and which the ASUU strike is and I think that our education system is not being properly articulated.
“University education is not for everybody and that is the truth. The basic education every country strives to attain is secondary school and vocational schools. These are the basic schools and when you have these qualifications, you will able to use it either to start up something or to be able to use it to be employed and while you are in employment, if you don’t have the mercy you will be able to aspire to university education.
“There is a need to review our educational system, it mustn’t be for everybody. I am not ashamed that I have first degree and my Deputy is a PhD holder, it doesn’t matter. It is what you bring on board. So, I cannot see how we cannot sit down with our ASUU leaders and iron out this problem about the ASUU strike.
“I have read social media, newspapers how students got into trouble just by sitting at home or engaging in means of keeping themselves busy instead of being in schools. There is no way the country Nigeria will go and borrow 1.1trillion to meet ASUU demand, its quite unreasonable. Are their demands genuine? Yes, but we can start little by little.
“There must be commitment on the side of both parties that look, this ASUU are not asking this to take to their houses so to say, there are asking it for our children to better the infrastructure, to better the lecturers and the students. Yes, but we can start with a fraction of that and then have a programme that will run on the platform of sincerity to address all the lots.
“But let me also say that most of the time, our people have low appetite for maintenance of public works. No matter how much you deploy to these universities, unless the users, the industry, the regulators, unless they begin to treat public infrastructure as their own in the various universities, it will continue to go bad no matter how much the federal government deploy to it.
“So, it is important for ASUU to show some understanding and for those who are negotiating on the side of government to also show some understanding. Lets meet ourselves halfway and their open the schools to save the fate of our children”.