ASUU's Demands Are Unrealistic - Oby Ezekwwesili




In light of the current economic situation of the country, former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, on Sunday said that the demands by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) were unrealistic.

Ezekwesili said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan while reacting to the ongoing strike embarked upon by the union.

“Money is not limitless and yet everyone must acknowledge that investment in education is crucial and it is key.
“There are, however, some fundamental reforms that the sector needs in order to ensure that it is not about the size of the funding but about the productivity of the funding.
“You cannot simply express a desire, it must be founded on reality and that means you must know what can be achieved within a given period,” she said.

“If you remember, the ASUU negotiation started in 2007 when I was the Minister of Education and we constituted a government negotiation team, led by the late Gamaliel Onosode,
“Even though that period was short, one of the major issues for me was for us to make sure that we were being evidenced based in the way we were solving the problem,
“We considered issues like the existing model in countries similar to us in emerging economies,’’ she said.

The former minister said the team also considered what could be done by the public and private sectors about university funding among others.

“Those are the kinds of evidence that we had and on the basis of which we hinged our negotiation at that time,
“It was a very short period and then we had to leave and the next government that took over had to continue.
“I do not know the basis of the final agreement they reached with ASSUU, but if it was not anchored on analytical evidence, I am not surprised that there has been inability to implement it.”

She urged the Federal Government and ASUU to renegotiate on the basis of analysis and evidence to find lasting solution to the dispute.


NAN


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