The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, has bemoaned the four per cent reduction in the 2017 budget allocation to education sector.
He made the observation on Thursday in Abuja when he paid a courtesy call on the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Mr Ayuba Wabba.
He said such reduction was capable of destroying the nation’s educational system.
According to him, the decline in funding education from 11 per cent to eight per cent in 2015 will do the education system no good.
“About six per cent was proposed in 2017; about four per cent was given at the end of the day.
“The decline will also destroy the country because destroying the educational system of a nation means destroying the nation,’’ he said.
He said education had been relegated to the background because political office holders, now own private universities at the detriment of government universities.
“They build their own universities, and they do not care about government universities.
“The moment they destroyed government universities, Nigeria will have none again, because everything has been privatised,” he said.
According to him, the union has always engaged government on funding and provision of facilities to attract quality education that can bring development to the country.
He said the political class hardly recognised the essence of scholarship and funding for the development of the system, adding that all they think about was for them to take away what belong to the people.
Ogunyemi also called on Nigerians and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to support the fight for proper funding of education sector.
He, however, commended the assistance and intervention of the NLC during the six months strike.
While receiving the ASUU president, the NLC president said education has played a major role in the development of the nation’s economy.
He said it was sad that most of the leaders, who had benefited from free education, could not transfer same education to the children of the poor.
According to him, large number of Nigerian youths has been denied quality education.
According to him, this act is deliberate to push the children of the poor out of the growth of the nation’s economy, so that they can determine who runs the affairs of the nation.
Wabba, however, urged the union to see that the battle was won, adding that the nation has more than enough policy and resources to make the education system better than what it used to be.