The All Progressives Congress Professional Forum on Tuesday in Abuja called on the Federal Government to “take the bull by the horn” and finance tertiary institutions in the country to ensure a permanent solution to the perennial strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The forum’s Chairman, Board of Trustees and former Bauchi State Governor, Dr Isa Yuguda, made the call at a press conference in Abuja.
Yuguda said, “The forum expresses concern over the recurrent strikes by university lecturers in Nigeria and advises government inclusive of state governments to provide a comprehensive solution to the problem of financing university education in Nigeria by introducing full autonomy in public universities in Nigeria.
“This should be complemented by a comprehensive National Students Loan Programme for indigent students that will ensure that funding does not constitute a challenge for our university students.
“We call on the Federal Government to take the bull by the horns and chart a new narrative in the administration and financing of tertiary education in Nigeria to introduce a permanent solution to the perennial problems bedevilling that critical sector.”
Also, a group, under the auspice of the Patriotic Elders of Nigeria, has asked both Federal Government and ASUU to ensure amicable resolution of the ongoing dispute between them to save the university education from total collapse.
The group’s President, Dr. Bature AbdulAziz, made the call while speaking with newsmen in Kano on Tuesday.
AbdulAziz said, “The Ministers of Education, Finance and other stakeholders should reach a common ground that will lead to the immediate calling off of the ongoing strike to allow students return to school for academic activities to continue.
“In the ongoing discussions, the Federal Government should release part of the requested funds to ASUU while the union should accept whatever comes to them.
“We are reminding the Federal Government what they are already aware of on the vitality of our children’s education. Today, it takes six to seven years for students in Nigerian public universities to complete their degree programmes.
“Our children are threatened by the extension of their education period, hence the reason why some travel overseas to acquire education in places with lower education standards than their own country.”
Bature also appealed to ASUU to reconsider its requests and demands by bearing in mind that the country is currently facing financial problems than ever before, and should not be inclined to exhibit its past negative behaviours of insisting on strike for up to two-digit period of months.
“Our children’s education is at stake and we appeal to ASUU’s decision makers to duly consider the future of these children.
“We are calling on both parties to consider our children’s education by not letting the education of the common man decline while their children are attending expensive private schools within and outside the country,” he added.