The African Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF) has expressed concern over the ongoing strike launched by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Nigeria
AYGF Executive Director, Arome Salifu, who made this known at a press conference in Abuja, the national capital, lamented that it would create a gap in human capital development.
According to him, ” YouUnless something urgent is done to address the lingering crisis in the education sector, Nigeria will continue to lag behind its peers in workforce development.
“One of the consequences of this is the shortage of manpower it would create in the future. The major fallout from the incessant strike is the brain drain resulting from continued unemployment.“
Salifu described the ongoing industrial action by ASUU which has lasted for more than six months as “A emergency situation.”
“Jhe misfortunes that have befallen our education sector, especially the higher education sub-sector, are sad and have become a plague. A very important symptom is industrial action. he said
AYGF director urged government to put empathy for students first; “TThey must take into account that our human capital development gap is widening.
He added that students will be rushed through their classes. overloaded and the whole system will be cluttered with mediocrity while urging the government to help solve the problem.
“Ongoing industrial action by the Union of Academic Staff of Universities is crippling the education sector, particularly in the areas of engineering research and development
“ASUU and the government have engaged in negotiations, charges and counter-charges regarding the strike. In all this, as is often said, when two elephants fight, the grass suffers; our children are suffering and languishing at home
“ASUU has accused the government of not delivering on its promise to pay more N1.5trn which is to be used in upgrading universities and increasing faculty salaries. The sum, which the government has repeatedly declared, would be difficult to raise
“As a result of the government refusing to pay. The ASUU feels it has no choice but to go on strike. So far, this strike has not yielded any positive results. That’s why we’re here
“One of our goals here is not to blame. We need to think together and suggest a way forward to break our current stalemate. If we look at the consequences of the strike, we have no choice but to beg all parties to sheathe their swords.
“We also urge ASUU to consider finding common ground in all that has been said and agreed in negotiations with the government and other stakeholders in the interest of national cohesion and posterity.”
Salifu further advised students to enroll in online courses to update themselves, learn skills and become productive as the negotiations progress.