ASUU Strike: Nwajiuba apologises to Nigerian students

•Says FG will implement new funding structure for public universities soon

By Opeyemi Babalola

The former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has apologized to the Nigerian students affected in the ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

Speaking when he featured on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, which was monitored by University Times International, he said, “I do apologise 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.”

Nwajiuba explained that in order to avoid incessant strikes by the university unions, a new scheme to earn money and fund the universities would be communicated to them soon by the federal government.

“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,” he argued.

“So, it is important we give them a funding structure; we need to bring a funding structure to the table because this coming to cap in hand to the Federal Government at all times cannot continue and is not sustainable.”

He, however, noted that why the federal government was licensing and building new universities was to expand access in order to solve the issue of brain drain in the country.

He urged the university lecturers to look for other means of pressing their demands other than persistent industrial action.

The former minister, who resigned recently to pursue his presidential ambition in the upcoming general in 2023, explained that under his watch as a Minister of State for Education, he was part of those who initiated the National Identification Number (NIN) for the registration of JAMB.

“Immediately I joined the cabinet in 2019, something Nigeria never had, we now have NIN as your instrument to apply for JAMB.  They said it couldn’t work but we insisted because without NIN, we are getting children and numbers into the university that was not accountable for. So we have the data now.

“The country needs to move in order and that is what I have tried to achieve in the last 32 months that I have been minister,” he explained.

Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba,

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