Emmanuel Osodeke, president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, says the Muhammadu Buhari regime can meet the union’s demand without borrowing.
“Who is asking them (Federal Government) to borrow? They have the money,” Mr Osodeke said per a Punch report. “If they can release N400bn for trader money, did they borrow that? Is trader money more important than universities being closed?”
Continuing, the lecturers union boss asked, “If they dedicate N200bn for feeding of children in school, which we don’t see; if they can be thinking of plea bargain with somebody who stole N80bn, they should let Nigerians know that they are not interested in education rather than giving flimsy excuses.”
Mr Osodeke’s statement comes days after Ebonyi State governor David Umahi said the Buhari regime cannot borrow to meet “unreasonable” ASUU demands because university education is not for every Nigerian.
The union president, however, said he will not respond to Mr Umahi’s statement because he is not a federal government spokesman.
Last week, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, said parents should beg ASUU to call off strike as their demands cannot be met.
He claims the government would need over N1 trillion naira to fulfil ASUU demands, saying the government could not afford it.
Public universities across Nigeria have been shut down since February 14 due to unresolved impasse between the federal government and ASUU.
The union is demanding the implementation of a 2009 agreement which stipulated a better working condition for university lecturers, among other demands.