Striking university teachers on Thursday asked the Federal Government to concede to the demands of the union instead of “begging parents and students.”
The Federal Government on Wednesday had appealed to parents and students to bear with it in what it described as the unfortunate consequences of the closure of the universities.
However, reacting to the appeal, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, National Treasurer, Dr. Ademola Aremu, noted that the solution to the industrial action was for the Federal Government to do what was proper.
He said, “If they want the strike to end today, they know what to do. They have the enablement to do that. To say they are begging parents and students, to me, is a distraction. How can they just beg, how will begging solve the problem?
“When the Senate asked for N100m, did they beg them? They provided the money. Instead of begging, they should go and do the needful and then the crisis will just end. There is no need to prolong the strike when you know what to do.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labran Maku, who made the appeal, said the government had resolved to end the crisis because of the damages perennial strikes had inflicted on the nation’s education sector.
The minister expressed the confidence that the negotiation currently spearheaded by the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu, and the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqqayat Rufa’i, would soon produce the desired result.
The union embarked on the indefinite strike five weeks ago following the failure of the Federal Government to implement part of the 2009 agreement reached by both parties.
The union’s demands include an upward review of retirement age for professors from 65 to 70, adequate funding to revitalise the university system, progressive increase of budgetary allocations to education, transfer of Federal Government property to universities, setting up of research and development units by companies, payment of earned allowances and renegotiation of the signed agreement.
CULLED FROM PUNCH NEWSPAPER