The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) commended the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for prioritising their demand for revitalisation funds for the public universities and urged union not to succumb to the Propaganda of the government.
ERC expressed that the propaganda is aimed at getting the union to call of the Strike without concrete achievement, saying that the Federal Government are attempting to water down ASUU demands and castigate them to the public.
“We condemn in very strong terms the deceitful manner the government has been conducting negotiations with the striking lecturers. We equally reiterate our support for the demands of the ASUU for revitalisation of public universities across the country,”
The Keynote statement made by the National Coordinator of ERC, Hassan Taiwo Soweto and National Mobilisation Officer, Wole Olubanji on behave of the organisation.
They berated the Nigerian government for its insincerity in “resolving the widely acknowledged problems bedevilling Nigeria’s education sector,”Highlighting the various commitments by the Nigerian government aimed at improving the education sector.
ERC noted that the “N20 billion promised for revitalisation of the public universities is scandalous”. The statement read: “The arrival at a revitalisation fund for public universities was reached, by the government, from a NEEDS assessment study it sanctioned and conducted in 2009.
The parlous state of affairs in public universities led the Federal Government in 2013 to the conclusion that a sum of One point one trillion naira would be made available to the universities over a five-year period.
The agreements government entered with ASUU require the federal government to release a sum of N 220 billion annually to the universities.
Therefore they said “We consider the excuse of shortage of fund, cited by the federal government, as weak and untenable.
Despite the purported shortage of funds, the government wasted no time, through the CBN, to bail out deposits in the defunct Skye Bank that was plundered by her Chief Executive; and the same government pays political appointees remunerations considered to be one of the highest in the world.
“For us in the ERC, it is the priority of government that determines where it spends money; and obviously education is not one of the priorities of the present government. We have always argued that the industrialisation of this country would require a quality education system.
We strongly believe that if this strike is called off without a genuine effort at funding the higher institutions, academic activities would sooner than later be disrupted, because the key question of under-funding of these schools remains unresolved.