The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN) has called on Nigerian parents and guardians whose parents are affected by the ongoing shutdown of academic activities in government-owned universities to appeal to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off the lingering strike.
ASUU had declared a nationwide strike on Monday, February 14 this year.
The strike, according to the union, was as a result of the failure of the government to meet some demands such as the release of the revitalisation funds for universities, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, deployment of the University Transparency Accountability System for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers, renegotiation of the ASUU-Federal Government 2009 agreement among others.
Since the strike began, stakeholders had called on the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari, to find a lasting solution to the strike and increase funding of tertiary institutions.
The President, in a meeting with the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu and others, gave a directive to the members of his cabinet involved to ensure a speedy solution to the strike.
However, close to three weeks after the directive by the President, the union was yet to suspend its strike.
Featuring on a programme on Channels Television, Keyamo noted that the government had done its best and appealed to parents to “beg” ASUU.
“The moment they went on strike, we intervened, what is the manner again beyond that ? Even before the strike began, we called them to a meeting, what manner is more than that? It’s not like we left them to go on strike first and we were sleeping, as the talk started, they still went on strike.
“You can not allow one sector of the economy to hold you down and then blackmail you to go and borrow N1.2 trillion and our total income is around N6.1 trillion and we have roads to build, health centres and other sectors to take care of.
“I will tell the parents, everybody to go and beg ASUU like the President said the other time, those who know them should appeal to their sense of patriotism. The nation can not ground to a halt because we want to take care of the demands of ASUU.”