ASUU Strike: Mass Protests Looms – “We Will Occupy State/Federal Ministries Of Education”

Dr. Ndozi Okonjo Iweala, Federal Minister of Finance
Dr. Ndozi Okonjo Iweala, Federal Minister of Finance

Okonjo Iweala said that Nigeria doesn’t have N92 billion to settle the agitation of ASUU. It’s an insult to the Nigerian students and youths. President Jonathan must sack her or we will mobilize Nigerians and lead protests. Every day, we read in the papers how billions and trillions of Naira are stolen. Now that it affects education, Jonathan and Okonjo are saying they don’t have the money to fund our education. If that amount can put an end to the strike, why can’t the government release the money? It’s sad that the people paying the price are the children of the poor of those who can’t afford to go to private schools. So, they go to public schools. The strike doesn’t affect Okonjo or Jonathan’s children. I’m sure if our governors, ministers and the president had their children in public schools, they would have responded. Let our governors and ministers tell us where their children are schooling. They’re asking our students to be patient” – cried the Director of Outreach Services Comrade Timi Frank under the auspices of Anti-Corruption Network – consisting of a group of activists.

Comrade Frank’s statement came in reaction to the public statement by the federal minister of finance – Dr. Ngoz Okonjo Iweala indicating that the federal government does not have the financial muscle to end the strike. Dr. Iweala was quoted as having said that the federal government does not have the N92billion it would cost to meet the conditions tabled by the Academic Staff Union of Universities [ASUU]

Comrade Frank in his reaction threatened mobilization of students and youths against the federal and state governments should urgent steps fail to be taken to end the unnecessary strike by the ASUU. The Comrade pointed particular attention to the ministries of education at both the federal and state levels – as were the protests will be focused on. “By next week, we will take over all the education ministries in the country”, he threatened.

The federal government is deceiving Nigerians over the true state of affairs”, he lamented while adding that since Okonjo Iweala became the federal minister of finance; the people of Nigeria have done badly economically.

In his words, “Since she became the minister of finance, she has brought up policies that are anti-people. If you’re asking the students to stay back at home, we are creating more problems for our students. ASUU shouldn’t call of their strike until their agitations are meant. They’ve the support of Nigerians and must do the right thing. All labour unions should support this strike.”

It was also understood that the funds generated from the increase in fuel [petrol] prices and/or removal of oil subsidy – which was supposedly directed towards the creation of SURE-P – was expected by some experts in the field of finance to have been utilized in the modernization of the tertiary institutions in the country. It appears the SURE-P funds may have not been directed towards the modernization of Nigeria’s tertiary institutions.



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