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Take responsibility for education sector rot, NECA tells FG

By Gloria Nwafor
18 August 2022   |   4:18 am
Following the deadlocked meeting between members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government to resolve ongoing strike in universities, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association...

Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA). Photo: THEGLITTERS

• HURIWA threatens to sue govt over ASUU strike

Following the deadlocked meeting between members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government to resolve ongoing strike in universities, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has charged government to take responsibility for the rot in Nigeria’s education sector.

Speaking on the state of the sector, yesterday, in Lagos, NECA Director-General, Wale-Smatt Oyerinde, who urged the current administration to address the deep-rooted problems in the system, tasked the authorities on respect for agreements.

Noting that it was no secret that the country is facing financial crisis on many fronts with mounting debts, Oyerinde appealed to the feuding parties to put national interest at the forefront as negotiations continue. He said government must continue to demonstrate zero-tolerance for corruption and wastage in governance.

According to him, it is indefensible to request ASUU to demonstrate commitment to national interest, while government officials continue to demonstrate recklessness in the management of scarce national resources.

To strengthen industrial relations in the country, the NECA boss urged ASUU and government to ensure strict adherence to provisions of the Trade Dispute Act and relevant laws.

Oyerinde said flagrant disregard for time-tested industrial relations standards, conventions, processes and procedures could only worsen the situation.

While stating the implication of the incessant disruptions in academic calendar on businesses and national development, the NECA chief observed: “Businesses are managed by people and human capital is a critical factor for the success of any endeavour, notwithstanding recent upsurge in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Without the necessary competencies and skills by individuals, business sustainability and national development could be compromised.”

ALSO, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, threatened to sue the Federal Government over its failure to meet the demands of ASUU.

Its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, regretted that President Muhammadu Buhari had not shown sufficient leadership to end the ongoing strike in public universities.

He said three Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) are on “standby to slug it out with the Federal Government since the All Progressives Congress (APC) has shown insensitivity to the plight of public university lecturers and children of ordinary Nigerians in public schools.”

Commenting on the deadlocked meeting between ASUU and government on Tuesday, Onwubiko stated: “The levity and lack of seriousness with which the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari is handling the six-month strike by ASUU is worrisome.

“Through their body language, ministers and government officials, whose kids school abroad, apparently don’t want the strike to end because it doesn’t affect them.”

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