By Victor Ahiuma-Young
As academic activities returned to the nation’s universities, yesterday, after over three months industrial action, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, has pleaded with Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and the government to end the incessant strikes in the nation’s university education.
Noting that strike was worsening the employability of graduates of Nigerian universities, NECA pleaded with all stakeholders to ensure that the university system was not disrupted by any industrial unrest.
According to NECA, all hands must be on deck to ensure there is no interruption whatsoever again in the nation’s education system.
While commending the Federal Government and ASUU for the resolution of the three months ASUU strike, NECA expressed worries over the incessant ASUU strike which had become a sort of annual tradition.
NECA in a statement signed by Director-General, Mr. Timothy Olawale, in Lagos, said: “The news of the calling off of the strike came as a huge relief and we would like to commend ASUU and the Federal Government for going through the tortuous process of arriving at an agreement. We believe this was done in the interest of students and the nation at large.
‘’Though the calling off of the strike is commendable, we are deeply concerned about how the ‘annual’ strike continues to be a recurrent issue in our educational system. It has become almost impossible for students in tertiary institutions to have one session at a stretch without interruption.
‘’The three months’ strike has further cemented the perception of the Nigerian student as being unemployable due to the ceaseless interruptions of their academic activities.
‘’In the Human Development Index, HDI, ranking, Nigeria sits in a pitiable 157th position of the 189 countries assessed in 2017.
“If we are desirous of improving our HDI ranking, we cannot continue to treat our education system with disdain. Our focus now should be on ensuring our students learn without any interruption and as a matter of urgency, commence an overall reform of our educational system.”