The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), yesterday, accused the Federal Government of misinforming Nigerians about their demands, just as it said that it never had it so bad with past administrations as far as negotiations are concerned.
The ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke revealed this while reacting to the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo’s statement that it was unrealistic for the Federal Government to borrow money to end the five-month-old strike.
Osodeke in an interview with the media in Abuja said that the claim by Keyamo that ASUU was demanding N1.1t naira to end the industrial action is false. He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to stop misinforming Nigerians.
“We have never had it this bad in the history of Nigeria, because we never had any situation where we would have an agreement with the government, only for the government team to disappear…We’ve never had it this terrible!
He said: “We’re not saying give ASUU this money; we are saying refurbish Nigerian universities in such a way that it can entice students from all over the world. That’s the major thing we are asking for. It’s not about ASUU.
“We’re asking for that money for Nigerian students, and Nigerian parents. The money is for building infrastructure, upgrading libraries, hostels, and lecture theatres so that students will not be having lectures through windows; so that students will not be sitting on the floor during lectures. That’s what we are asking for. Just like you have in other countries, even our neighbors here, Benin Republic and Ghana. That’s what we are asking for.
The ASUU president added: “We are also saying that lecturers must earn competitive salaries so that we can have lecturers from all over the world come to our universities to teach, just like we’re going outside. Those are the things that we are asking for.
Osodeke said that negotiations with the government have not been productive owing to the actions of some government officials at the federal level.