We need to act fast on ASUU strike, Osinbajo tells APC governors
• Okowa tasks FG on Delta education model to end the stalemate
• FG has done enough for varsities, minister insists
• Govt to meet VCs, and councils on September 6
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, received some governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in his office, where he called for urgent action to address dwindling economy and protracted strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The governors were at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to felicitate Osinbajo, as he recovers from a surgical operation he underwent last month.
At the meeting were: Governors Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Simon Lalong (Plateau); Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos); Muhammad Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa); Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (Kwara); Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger); Dapo Abiodun (Ogun); Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), and the deputy governor of Ebonyi, Kelechi Igwe.
During the brief interaction, The Guardian gathered that other important national issues were raised, even as the leaders agreed on urgent resolutions for the benefit of Nigerians.
The Vice President said: “We all need to work together on these critical issues. We need to think through things, and we need to do it fast.”
MEANWHILE, Delta State governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vice presidential candidate, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to understudy his education policy on how he successfully runs four universities.
Okowa, who expressed dismay over the prolonged strike, asked the government to come over to him and “understudy the four universities in Delta to see how we are keeping our students and lecturers on campus by providing adequate facilities in our schools.”
The governor, who spoke via his chief press secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifejika, said: “If Mr. President truly has the interest of students at heart, he should keep aside ego and come to use his (Okowa’s) model on education.”
Also, Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah Opiah, insisted Federal Government has done much for the education sector, especially, universities, adding that this should prompt ASUU to reconsider its position on the industrial action.
The minister said it won’t be out of place for major stakeholders in governance, like members of the National Assembly, to leverage on what the government has done and ensure the lecturers return to work.
The minister disclosed this during his presentation to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund), which had visited the ministry as part of its oversight functions.
Opiah added: “Government has yielded to all the demands of ASUU. The only thing is that government doesn’t support anyone who doesn’t work but wants pay.”
Opiah, who stood in for Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, revealed that TETfund has exceeded expectations by giving out trillions of naira, beyond what ASUU had requested for infrastructural development of universities.
IN a related development, the Federal Government, through the National Universities Commission (NUC), has convened a meeting with vice-chancellors, pro-chancellors and the management of federal universities, in line with the ongoing strike action by the ASUU.
The meeting is expected to hold on September 6, 2022, at the NUC secretariat in Abuja and seek ways of reopening the universities.
This was convened in a letter written by the Deputy Executive Secretary (Administration) of the NUC, Chris Maiyaki, and addressed to all pro-chancellors, chairmen of councils and vice-chancellors of federal universities.