Stakeholders advise govts on education budget, ASUU strike

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By Esenvosa Izah

Lagos, Aug. 9, 2022 (NAN) Stakeholders in the education sector have called on government at federal and state levels to increase their budgetary allocations to the field.

They also urged government at both levels to work on rebuilding trust with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The stakeholders made the call in a statement on Tuesday, signed by the Chief Executive Officer, Westerfield College, Mr Michael Dosunmu, following the school’s 2022 graduation ceremony held on Saturday in Lagos.

Dosunmu said that there was the need for Federal and State Governments to increase their education budgets and apportion proper funds to the universities.

According to him, central to all of ASUU’s demands is the issue of inadequate funding.

“There is a size of the budget that should be allocated to education, and if that is properly allocated, we will then have a situation where government begins to gain ASUU’s trust.

“The minister of education must be someone that the sector trusts.”

Also, the Principal of the college, Mr Dare Falodun, said government must embrace its duty of funding the education sector.

Falodun said: “In Germany for instance, from the early years all the way to the university level, education is free.

‘’It is not a right, but a duty of government to fund education; if universities are allowed to fund themselves, it then means that poor Nigerians will not be able to send their children to good schools.

“When you look at statistics, China has the highest number of students studying abroad. Why do they do this? Government funds students to schools outside of China, to learn from other countries.

‘’Once the students get that knowledge, they go back to use same to develop China.”

In his remarks, the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, urged well-meaning Nigerians to channel more investments in the sector to address the challenge of incessant strikes by ASUU.

‘’Every patriotic Nigerian interested in what is happening in the sector as regard the ongoing ASUU strike must be an advocate for education.

‘’Such Nigerian is a stakeholder in the sector and therefore, needs to double his or her investments in the sector, ’’ Olowo said.