Hours after been accused of making cheap promises by ASUU, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has once again come forward to defend the Federal Government and explain the reason why the Federal Government can not meet the demands of the Academy Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Mallam Adamu Adamu, while speaking to journalists in Abuja, disclosed that it is impossible for the Federal Government to meet the demands of ASUU with the current state of Nigeria’s economy.
Mallam Adamu Adamu stated that the crash in the prices of oil globally has tremendously affected the economic fortunes of the country and that the poor state of the economy has, in turn, affected the various sector of the government, including education.
The minister also blamed the administration of late president, Umaru Yar’Adua, for making bogus promises to the union during a period of the oil boom. Stating that the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua administration only made the agreement because of the oil boom which later crashed and plunged the country into recession.
Mallam Adamu also appealed to ASUU to be mindful of the fact that the country had only just exited recession and is recovering from the consequences of global low oil price. He also added that other sectors of the economy are competing with similar financial needs as the education sector.
Below is an extract of Mallam Adamu Adamu’s statement;
“Let me begin by saying that the issues necessitating this strike date back to 2009 when the then government of late President Umaru Musa Yar Adua signed an agreement with the ASUU on funding of the federal universities in the country.
“The agreement provided for funding of universities to the tune of N1.3 trillion over a period of six years. It is instructive to know that Nigeria was experiencing the oil boom at that time. It was therefore expected that the government will be able to meet the terms of the agreement.
“However, international oil prices crashed in subsequent years thereby throwing the country into economic hardship. At the inception of this administration, the country’s economic fortunes worsened, nose-diving into recession, with dire consequences on all sectors of the economy, including education.”
“The country just exited recession and is beginning to recover from the consequences of low oil prices.”
“If this trend continues, definitely, the education sector will also improve, in other words, the well-being of the education sector and any other sector of the country’s economy is a function of the international oil prices. This is the stack reality for now which all of us must acknowledge and accept.”
“We must also be mindful that there are other sectors with similar competing needs, if our universities produce graduates, such graduates must work in other sectors of the economy which must also be supported by the government.”