Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, has aired his opinion on the on going strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The governor stated that for the strike action to end, both the Union and those negotiating for the federal government must show understanding
Umahi, who stated this in a release issued in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, yesterday, noted that due to lack of maintenance culture, no amount of fund deployed to the universities would see to the lasting of infrastructures in the tertiary institutions.
The governor, reiterated that Nigeria’s basic problems remain security, health, and education, adding that higher education is by choice not a necessity.
Umahi noted, “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.
“Our basic problem in this country remains 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 educated.
“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 on social media, in the 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”.