Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Colleges (ASUU) to end its strike, saying it hurts him to see public universities in his country down so frequently.
On Saturday, during a media talk commemorating Nigeria’s 62nd independence day, the president made a plea to the striking lecturers, urging them to return to the classrooms until the outcome of discussions on the remaining items on the union’s demand list.
“I must confess that I am very pained by the recurring disruption to our tertiary education system,” the president said. “I am using this Independence Day celebration to reiterate my call for the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to the classroom while assuring them to deal with their contending issues within the limits of the scarce resources available.”
President Buhari has claimed that his administration has made significant strides toward fixing “these difficulties that have been lingering for over eleven years.”
Because “education is a primary predictor of economic growth and employment generation,” he stated, “the government will continue to mobilize resources both internationally and nationally towards subsidizing education to ensure that our population are well educated and trained in diverse vocations.”
Since February 14, when the strike by ASUU began, all academic activity at Nigeria’s public universities have been paralyzed.
A number of Nigerians, especially students organized under the National Association of Nigerian Students, have expressed displeasure at the new situation.
University faculty are lobbying for increased government financing to fulfill the terms of many agreements reached with the academic community.