Following the lingering feud between the aggrieved academic staff union of the Nigerian universities and the federal government, which resulted in the suspension of studies and closure of the country’s public universities,
The strike actions, which have lasted for about five months now, have halted academic activities in the country. Many Nigerians expressed concern with the Nigerian Labour Congress’s staging of a protest in solidarity with the striking union.
But on a different view, Ach. Sanusi Maikudi, the Managing Director/CEO of Kaduna State Water Corporation, faulted both the government and the striking union for denying students the right to study as he provided an alternative for founding the country’s public universities in a lecture delivered at the Ahmadu Bello University Alumni meeting in Kaduna.
According to him, public institutions should initiate a system where they will be independent of seeking funds from the government, creating a self-driving internal revenue that can sustain the financial dealings of the university system in the country.
Constant embarking on strikes to seek government attention can only lower the standard of education in the country as students are been denied their fundamental rights because under the principles of inclusiveness nobody has the right to deny any potential learner access to higher education so long as he is able and willing, and this applies to both minority, majority, advantage, and the disadvantage families. He continued
However, Nigerians are used to paying high tuition fees in private schools, especially in the primary and secondary sections, where parents pay hundreds of thousands to millions in some cases, so how can we keep deceiving ourselves when we know the large number of citizens who can afford to pay? Maikudi asked.
So, we should build a mechanism where the university will be commercialized and a system in which parents’ earnings can be traced and asked to pay the school fees of their children according to their earnings or inflow into their bank account. That can easily be done using a bank verification number (BVN).
Although the system must identify disadvantaged families, this is an avenue in which the government, institutions, NGOs, and the country’s celebrated billionaires must all contribute to ensuring that all children receive the education they deserve. He added
Dr. Shuaibu Shehu Aliyu, who is a lecturer and Director of Arewa House, Kaduna, has described the strike action by the ASUU as a setback to education.
According to him, the ASUU has been agitating with strike action for about forty years now and that the strike only halted academic activities in the country.
He also believes that only commercializing public institutions will solve the lingering issues, that no agreement between the two parties will ensure the sustainability of education in Nigeria, and that we cannot continue to strike indefinitely.