ASUU Strike: ‘FG playing with future of Nigerian youths, education sector’
By Peter Okutu – Abakaliki
Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Afikpo, Rev. Paul Udogu, weekend, emphasised that the Federal government was playing politics with the future of Nigerian Youths and the education sector by its inability to resolve the ongoing strike involving Academic Staff Unions of Universities, ASUU.
He said it was time for the government to overhaul and reposition the education sector.
Speaking during of 5th synod of the Afikpo Anglican Diocese held at Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Unwana, Afikpo, Udogu argued that most tertiary institutions in the country look like glorified secondary schools.
He opined that there are poor infrastructures in the tertiary institutions with crowded lecture rooms with little or no furniture for students, inadequate funds for research and poor workers remuneration which he said pose a serious challenge to the system.
“The introduction of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by the federal government is a good move to curb the issue of corruption and ‘ghost workers’ in our higher institutions but the irregularities and the deficiencies in the IPPIS have not helped matters, as ASUU advocate for University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
“Government should not play politics with our educational system. It is time for our government to overhaul our educational system and invest heavily in the sector”.
He urged ASUU to suspend its indefinite strike in the interest of students and survival of the nation’s education system.
“Government should listen to the cry of ASUU. We also call on ASUU to suspend the indefinite strike for the sake of the Nigerian students and for the survival of our education system.
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“We encourage ASUU to resume work while they dialogue more with the federal government to resolve the problem.
“Government should also resolve all anomalies in IPPIS and make it more efficient and effective while UTAS integrity test should be carried out immediately,” he said.
The Bishop expressed worry on what he called “the borrowing culture of the federal government”, saying “and more worrisome is the figure we heard the federal government of Nigeria is borrowing from foreign nations in the name of responding to Covid 19 or for infrastructural development”.
“The implication of this borrowing is that Nigeria today and generation unborn will remain in economic slavery.
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“We call on the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government to consider her borrowing culture and put Nigeria in the path of greatness by diversifying our economy.
“The diversification of our economy is sacrosanct if Nigeria must survive. The recent gas project is a good step in the right direction, but we call on the federal government to ensure that every sector and zone is included in a phased development”, Udogu said.
He proclaimed that there were lots of demons working against the progress of the country with some of the demons at the corridors of power.
“Those whom we trusted and voted to protect the integrity of our country and give us good governance, have done worse harm to the country than the known enemies to the extent that Nigeria is being considered in some quarters as a failed state”.
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