President Muhammadu Buhari has called on members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to consider the plight of students and call off their ongoing strike.
He made the call on Thursday at the 19th National Productivity Day and the conferment of the National Productivity Order of Merit Award to 48 eminent Nigerians and organisations in both the public and private sectors.
This was contained in a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, titled, ‘At National Productivity Day Awards, President Buhari appeals to ASUU to call off strike’.
Buhari pleaded with the lecturers to consider the students who have been on a forced break for several months now.
While making the appeal, the President urged ASUU to consider the plight of students and also urged the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), to exercise patience as government works to resolve the crisis instead of embarking on strikes and causing disruption of activities in the country.
Buhari promised that the Federal Government would continue to do everything possible to uplift the standard of the educational system in the country.
The President said he had earlier directed his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, Ministers of Education and Labour and Employment, Adamu Adamu and Chris Ngige, respectively and their counterparts in the ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning to immediately bring all parties to the negotiation table to “critically look at the grey areas in the demands of ASUU and in fact all other University based labour unions.”
‘‘If we desire to transform Nigeria into a competitive, strong, vibrant, productive and sustainable economy, improving our educational system should be accorded the highest priority,” part of the statement said.
He added that it would be difficult to improve Nigeria’s economic performance and overall productivity without improving the educational system.
“Government notes the emergency situation in our educational system with particular reference to the dearth of qualified and dedicated teachers to enhance the quality of teaching and learning at all levels of our educational system,” he added.