Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State on Tuesday in Akure appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to end its strike action.
Mimiko made the appeal when he declared open the 28th Annual Conference of the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), hosted by the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference drew delegates from 129 public and private universities in the country.
The governor, who expressed worry at the strike’s effect on university education, however commended the intervention of the Federal Government in resolving the crisis.
“Teachers should appreciate that teaching is both a profession and a vocation, and it should be able to boast of people who have special interest in teaching and the ability to do so,” he said.
Mimiko however called for improved funding of the country’s education system, saying “it is high time we realise that academic excellence, which is the hallmark of education, does not come cheap.
“Our universities, therefore, deserve increased funding, not minding the overriding challenges of the various sectors of our polity,” the governor said.
Earlier, Prof Adebiyi Daramola, the Vice-Chancellor of FUTA, had also commended Federal Government’s efforts at revamping the university system through the recent injection of a N100 billion intervention fund.
“This meeting will afford us the opportunity to have a debate over the issue of increased funding that will enhance our public universities.
“We should also be able to proffer solutions, leading to increased understanding and commitment to dialogue by all striking staff unions in the universities,” he said.
Prof Julius Okojie, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), commended the Vice-Chancellors for the constructive roles they played in trying to end the crisis.
Okojie, who was represented by Prof Sola Akinrinmade, a Visiting Professor at NUC, said ASUU should begin to develop new approaches to pushing its demands.(NAN)