The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has blamed the immediate-past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan for signing agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) without an intention to implement the pact.
The Minister, who spoke on Channels Television current affairs programme, ‘Politics Today,’ on Wednesday night, which was monitored by LEADERSHIP, however, assured Nigerians that he will do his possible best to put an end to the ongoing strike by ASUU.
Adamu also said that it was not the fault of the present Muhammadu Buhari administration that ASUU is on strike.
He, therefore, added that the federal government will not rescind its decision on ‘no work no pay’ policy, noting that ASUU will lose seven months salary should the Union call off the strike today.
He said, “The federal government is not rescinding decision on ‘No Work No Pay Policy’. Let me just take it holistically, greatness in the world is made by sacrifices and we respect this union because of sacrifices they are making but there cannot be a sacrifice without price.
“So, ASUU will be losing seven months if they call off strike today. I don’t think government will rescind and I don’t think they will have that as motivation. It is something that all of us should get together and solve.
“I don’t think government is going out to punish anybody. It is very unfortunate if a teacher said he won’t make sacrifice for his students, I think is something that does not sit well with me.
“Federal government has made a lot more sacrifice that you can’t count. The students will never regain that lost time. Those who said when they go back, they are going to teach, I don’t see how they will be able to do it because time has already been lost.”
The minister revealed that his children are in public universities, while saying President Muhammadu Buhari felt really bad about the strike.
He, however, said Buhari will leave many legacies in the education sector.
“There are so many legacies President Buhari will be leaving. There has been no government in the recent past that has made access to universities or higher education available to Nigerians like Buhari administration and I believe this is one of the biggest legacies,” he said.
He promised that he would be meeting with the ASUU president to ensure an end to the strike.
“Hello Nigerians, I sit here promising you that I will do the best I can to see that ASUU strike is off and even without making this pledge to you, my intention is immediately after this interview I’m going to meet the president of ASUU and it is not going to be a social visit, it is in continuation of what we have been doing before.
“I don’t have the words to tell the nation the way I feel but I will do the best that I can to end it,” the Minister assured.