The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has asked the National Assembly to initiate a law making it mandatory for the public office holders to send their children to public schools in Nigeria.
The union also described the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige a role model for demonstrating an uncommon faith in the university system, against the backdrop of the poor global rating of Nigerian universities and the efforts of the Federal Government to reposition them.
A statement by Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, informed that ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke , spoke Thursday at the reconvened meeting with the Federal Government, being conciliated by Senator Ngige.
Commending Senator Ngige for sending his children to the public universities, the ASUU President said his commitment to the growth and development of the country’s educational system should be emulated by other Ministers.
He said, “I hope other ministers will follow the same step as you. I think you are the onlyMinister whose children are in the country. We see others standing by their children outside the country during graduation. But, we saw you standing by one of your children who graduated in Lagos, proudly.
“We hope all others will emulate you and that Government will make it mandatory that if you accept a government appointment, your children must attend universities in the country. The National assembly must formulate a law that if you take an appointment, your children must study here. If you know that your children cannot be here, don’t take Government appointment.
“When you hear those in government who send their children to schools abroad say that ASUU go on strike, they should know that strike is not the problem. The problem is that the issues afflicting the universities; nobody is interested in tackling them. Look at the budget we have seen recently, it is exactly the same thing we have been seeing. Nothing has changed.
“And this country is paying the high price for neglecting education- the banditry you see, the kidnapping and what have you, is because people are not being taken care of. That is why ASUU has been struggling so that Nigerian universities will be revamped, so that as our children go outside for learning, other children from other countries will come here too and pay to this country in hard currency.”
Earlier in his remarks, Ngige assured that the Federal Government would not abandon the public universities in spite dwindling resource and reiterated government’s readiness to work with ASUU and others interested in revamping the educational system.