Strike: ‘ASUU Has A Case’ – Ex-Education Minister Nwajiuba Apologises To Students


Former Minister of State for Education, and presidential aspirant on the platform of the All  Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Emeka Nwajiuba, has apologised to Nigerian students and parents over the ongoing nationwide strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, saying that the federal government was currently working on a funding structure for public varsities in the country as a way to tackle the issue of inconsistent or non-payment of funds to the schools.
Nwajiuba spoke during an interview with Channels TV on Sunday noting that all his children attended public universities and that two of them were affected by the strike.
His words, “I do apologize to Nigerian students because as their minister, I will take responsibility. But also, on behalf of the federal government, I would say ‘please understand what the issues are.
“All my four children have passed through Nigerian universities. I still have two who are at home now, because they are all in public universities.”
He further said that the Education Minister, Adamu Adamu, and himself were discussing with the president on the ways through which federal universities could begin to earn money for themselves.
“I have proposed, and the Minister of Education (Adamu Adamu) will continue discussing this with Mr. President, a new scheme in which universities have a different way of earning money to be able to care for themselves.
“Because you see, there are only 50 of these federal universities and there are 200 others. However, these 50 alone are more than 75 percent of the number of students in the entire university structure – about 2.2m of them.
“So, it is important we give them a funding structure; we need to bring a funding structure to the table because this coming hand-in-cap to the Federal Government at all times cannot be continued and is not sustainable,” he added. 
Nwajiuba stressed that he believes that ASUU has a solid case, but did not believe that the strike was the best course of action.
According to him, "My position has not been that ASUU is talking rubbish. ASUU has a case, they are not making a case for themselves alone. ASUU is making a case for the entire university system.
“The only point of departure is that we have asked ASUU that strikes can’t cure the problem.
“We need them in class, we need our children back in school. It hurts parents. It hurts us. Like I keep saying, my children are here, I don’t have children in private universities. My wife and they are battling it at home...
“This government has done more than any other government to meet ASUU's conditions. We are going to resolve the issue. All the matrixes for it to be resolved are already before Mr. President."
He then appealed to ASUU to consider ending the strike and working with the FG to ensure their needs and demands are met.