Lagos – Mr. Yinka Gbadebo, President, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), said on Wednesday that cumulatively, 30 months were lost in 10 years to strike action by university lecturers.
Gbadebo told newsmen in Lagos that this statistic provided a platform for questioning the use of strikes as a weapon of seeking redress.
He urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) members to embrace further dialogue and return to work in the interest of peace and Nigerian students.
The NANS president said that students were always at the receiving end, losing precious time each time ASUU and their employers were in disagreement.
He said NANS was no longer comfortable with the effects of protracted and incessant strikes on the lives of the students.
“We hereby disagree with ASUU on the notion that an immediate release of N400 billion per annum as being demanded will phase out the myriads of problems confronting our universities.
“This is not to celebrate the government, which in an unprecedented manner, had shown responsibility and concern by releasing N100 billion for infrastructural development in our universities including those that are state owned,’’ he said.
Gbadebo said that NANS would continue to encourage the government not to close its doors to negotiations, but inject more funds into the entire education sector, and not just the universities.
“It is on this basis that we want to state our traditional demand that government must be made to commit at least 26 per cent of our annual budget to the education sector as the minimum recommendation by UNESCO,” Gbadebo said.
The NANS president dismissed some reports that he had been impeached and said they were from mischief makers.
The university lecturers, under the aegis of ASUU on July 1 started a strike it said was “ comprehensive, total and indefinite’’.
The lecturers are protesting the non-implementation of some issues contained in an agreement the union entered into with the Federal Government in 2009. (NAN)