As the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) enters its third week, ASUU has declared that it is only the Federal Government that can end the ongoing industrial action.
ASUU maintained that what is happening in the nations universities is a mockery of global standards of university education.
ASUU Chairman, University of Ibadan chapter, Dr. Deji Omole, while featuring on a BCOS TV program (AM120) and monitored by newsmen on Monday in Ibadan maintained that the federal government can end the strike if it implements the agreement it reached with the union.
He asked Federal government to use public funds to fund public education.
Omole who noted that ASUU has never run away from negotiation stated that the issue in connection with the strike is about implementation and not negotiation as being peddled by the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige.
He said it was sad that successive government including the incumbent failed to realise that funding education is an investment which can bring about enduring positive change in Nigeria.
Omole said that the union will continue to fight to force the federal government to wake up to her responsibilities of investing in education.
He said ASUU is not making new demands but demanding implementation of the 2009 agreement and 2013 Memorandum of Understanding.
“When you reached agreement you must implement it. They just finished Ileya festival and why are we celebrating? It was because someone promised to sacrifice his son to God. when he decided to fulfill it, God replaced that with ram and that is why we are celebrating.
“Jesus Christ also promised to come and die for the sin of the world and he came and fulfill that promise and that is why you still have people who believe in his second coming. Why will government not fulfill their promises contained in signed agreements?
“That is what brings crisis. Government should see education as investment. The products will come out to change society. University is to develop ideas to change society. What we are doing in the universities is a mockery of university education.
“Government should pump in money so that we can solve Nigeria’s problems here in Nigeria. If our universities are properly funded, we can conduct cutting edge researches that can take us out of the recession.
“What we are simply saying is the federal government should use public funds to fund public education. Chris Ngige is naive. He should check his records and see if there are new demands in his file. University lecturers and students are not the one who created recession.
“The ruling class through their activities plunged Nigeria into recession crisis. Government should stop establishing new universities if they cannot fund existing ones. Universities are not constituency project.”