Patrick Kelechi, Lagos


DAILY COURIER – President Muhammadu Buhari has advised the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other trade unions, to employ negotiations and shun strikes as a tool for pressing home their demands.


Buhari stated this at the 74th Foundation Day and Convocation Ceremonies of the University of Ibadan (UI), Ibadan, on Thursday.


Represented by Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Buhari reiterated the urgency for discipline and stability in all universities, which held the key to the future of any nation.


Noting that all the universities’ trade unions declared protracted trade disputes in 2022, President Buhari said the disputes had dire consequences for the economy and unnecessary disruption of the academic calendar of universities.


“There is a need for the trade unions, especially ASUU, to shun the weapon of strike as a tool for pressing home their demands.


“Strike only compounds the already poor state of our education sector, and erodes the national and international reputation of our public universities”, he said.


He urged the organised private sector to continue its support for the education sector, adding that the government cannot do it alone.


In a remark, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar Ill, the Sultan of Sokoto and Chancellor of UI, lamented the damage caused by the eight months strike, adding that “the worst hit are our children.”


Abubakar stressed the need to improve the standard of education in Nigeria through collective efforts.


He said that the country had been providing workforce for other countries to show that its education sector was not the worst.


Also speaking, the Pro-Chancellor, UI, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, urged all stakeholders in the education sector to ensure a crisis-free and uninterrupted academic calendar.


The Vice-Chancellor of UI, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, said his administration had continued to tackle challenges associated with providing a healthy, safe and conducive environment for sound education.