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Implementation of FG/ASUU agreement: The only way to save higher education in Nigeria

By Bamidele Aturu

It is amazing that the Federal Government has allowed the ASUU strike to continue without any serious attempt to resolve the impasse. In the first place, it needs to be stressed that once an agreement has been reached by parties, it ought to be respected and implemented.

If there is any intervening factor or reason that makes full implementation of an agreement impossible, then the parties must agree as to the way forward. It is, therefore, unacceptable that the Federal Government should attempt to bully ASUU to accept that it can renege on the agreement as it pleases as it is doing at the moment.

Second, the expenditure profile of the government and politicians does not show that government is unable to meet the financial requirements of the agreement. In a country where politicians buy private jets at will and send their children to private primary schools overseas, only the politicians would believe the lie that government cannot afford to fund higher education in the manner requested by ASUU-FGN Agreement.

Third, unless the agreement is respected, higher education is doomed in Nigeria. We may have to return to the suggestion made by Professor Soyinka many years ago that we should close down all the universities and declare a state of emergency. When the sage first made that suggestion, it looked unrealistic and alarmist.

Now, it is clear that we are pretending to have higher education. What takes place in our dilapidated universities is little better than kindergarten education, if we must be honest with ourselves. The only way to begin to rescue higher education in Nigeria is for the Federal Government and its officials to begin immediate implementation of the agreement it voluntarily reached with the academics.


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