FG should resolve ASUU crisis without delay ― Saraki

SENATE President, Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday, called on the Federal Government to immediately end the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Saraki, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said that the government needed to ensure that Nigerian universities are re-opened without further delay.

He stated that the strike is negatively affecting the education of Nigerian Youth, adding that the prolonged strike would also end up disenfranchising the youths, many of whom he said registered to vote in their universities.

The statement read: “In November 2016, the Senate intervened in the ASUU strike and met with the officials of the Ministries of Education and Labour, Employment and Productivity and the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

“At that meeting, which was attended by the Minister of State for Education Anthony Anwuka and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Productivity in the National Assembly, we agreed that the Federal Government should work to implement the agreement that it reached with ASUU in 2009, and subsequently, we set up a sub-committee to lease with both ASUU and the Federal Government on this issue.

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“The Federal Government must immediately work to address the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU) because this issue goes beyond negotiations.  It is affecting the education of Nigerian students and disenfranchising many of them from participating in the upcoming general elections.

“Make no mistake, we cannot continue this system whereby our universities will be frequently shut down, thereby slowing down the education of our young people — and creating negative bottlenecks that place unnecessary stress on our universities.

“In another vein, our youth make up over 51 per cent of registered voters. What does this mean for our electoral process, when young students who are registered to vote in their academic institutions, cannot do so because their schools are shut down? This is unacceptable.

“In this regard, I call on the Federal Government to immediately work on meeting the demands of ASUU and honouring all its prior commitments. On our part, the Senate will continue to work to ensure that Nigeria’s education sector is strengthened — and we are ready and willing to collaborate with both the Federal Government and ASUU to end this strike, and ensure that it does not become a recurrent issue.”

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