The declaration by Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, to contest the 2023 presidential election has sparked reactions.
This was after Nwajiuba had expressed that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) cannot dictate to the Federal Government on what platform to pay their salaries.
According to him; “It is impractical and incongruous to continuously expect that somebody who is paid a salary continues to dictate to the someone who pays him: ‘This is how you must pay me’. This is where this anomaly is.
“We have pleaded with ASUU that ‘If there any areas where your salaries fall short, kindly address them within the ambit of IPPIS because that’s what the government has now,'” the presidential hopeful explained.
” There is nothing that ASUU wants that we have not agreed to. We would like them to go back to classes so that students can go back to class.
“As the nation earns, we pay them. As the nation makes money, they would get money. What we don’t want is for the children to miss the opportunity of their own time because there is a timeframe within which children must grow. The child cannot wait. It is important that ASUU returns to class.”
But ASUU believes the government is paying lip service to the lecturers’ agitation.
According to the union’s president, Emmanuel Osodeke, the government’s budgeting of N4trn for subsidy payment is an indication that it is not ready to resolve the crisis.
“You can raise N4 trillion for fuel subsidy in a year, but you cannot raise N200 billion to fund your education.”