By SAMUEL OYANDOGHA & LAIDE AKINBOADE
ABUJA — The Federal Government, yesterday, assured Nigerian students that the ongoing strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, would be over in a few months.
The Minister of Education, Mr Nyesom Wike stated this at the anniversary lecture of National Universities Commission, NUC, in Abuja.
The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Macjohn Nwaobiala, reiterated Federal Government commitment in resolving the ongoing strike of ASUU.
According to Wike, “The Federal Government is very concerned about the state of public tertiary institutions in the country. The Federal Government is really worried about the ongoing strike of ASUU and the strike would be resolved in a few months.”
Professor John Daniel in his paper presentation titled, ‘Turbulent and Testing Times for Global Higher Education: Lessons for Nigeria’, said “online teaching and learning is now part of the future of most universities. Nigeria should be very good at this because without embarrassing you by pressing the point, I note that your country, through 419 scams, is a world leader in the use of the internet for less desirable purposes.”
He said higher education all over the world is facing lot of challenges that included youth unemployment and the current changes in the university system.
“These are indeed turbulent times, not only for United States of America but also for much of higher education globally”, he said.
A former Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Jubril Munzali, in his goodwill message, said the education sector for 21 years have been under funded and the significant increase in the funding of tertiary institutions were done through the struggle of ASUU.
He blamed the Federal Government lingering crisis rocking the nation’s university system.
He said it is time Federal Government listened to its agencies and allow NUC perform its statutory role and fund universities based on the advice of its agencies like NUC.
“Successive administrations in the country never paid adequate attention to university education”. He said the Federal Government process of direct funding of universities, have over the years resulted in mismanagement of the funds allocated to the institutions.
Police stop ASUU rally in Bayelsa
Meanwhile, the police authorities in Bayelsa State, yesterday, stopped the planned public protest by lecturers of the state owned Niger Delta University, NDU, Amassoma in the prolonged strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
The police order, issued against the planned public procession by the ASUU, NDU chapter, was reportedly signed by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hillary Okpara.
But the undaunted lecturers converged at the Yenagoa campus of the university to stage solidarity rally and also held a prayer session to seek the face of God over the lingering crisis.