The National Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Salihu Lukman has said that it is a destructive culture for the Federal Government to pay lectures despite being on strike.
Naija News reports that Lukman shared his opinion on the strike during an interaction with journalists on Sunday in Abuja.
The APC chieftain insisted that it was high time to regulate the conduct of ASUU in a way that would benefit the younger generation.
He condemned the inadequate funding of the educational sector insisting that no country advances through private funding of public education.
He blamed the romance of the Ibrahim Babangida regime with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank policies which imposed the Structural Adjustment Programme which he said led to the collapse of investment in education.
Lukman said, “Since 1985, the crisis we have had is that investment in public education has been frozen which has produced the gap we have today, whereby we have children but no schools for them to attend; where we have schools but no teachers; where we have schools, no teaching materials.
“Now, unfortunately, even our so-called public intellectuals, I don’t see any intellect in the debate going on now led by ASUU. They are not talking about detail, they talk about money in very crude terms as if it is rainfall from heaven. They ask the government to bring X-billion and they don’t give a damn whether on account of their action they are destroying the lives of the younger generation.
“Go and read about my last write-up about the ASUU strike when they got an agreement of about N30 billion from the federal government. I asked a question: after that N30 billion is expended, where will the next round come from? Because it will be earned again and that is the trap we are in.
“And unfortunately we have also created a destructive culture, whether ASUU works or not, as long as they are on strike, whenever they resume, they get paid. As far as ASUU members are concerned, during this period they are on strike, and the government is helping them to save. Meanwhile, our children are sitting with us at home. Those of us that have no time, we can’t even afford to feed them, we have to deregulate and allow them to go out. Whether they do criminal activities or not, it doesn’t matter.
“That is why I said we have to do hard negotiations. And for me, those hard negotiations include the fact that anybody ready in the name of the strike to spend one week outside class, no matter the matter, doesn’t have to be in our classrooms. We can’t invest in such responsibility because the life of the child cannot be suspended by one month.”