ASUU strike: Federal Government claims it is cash strapped and will need to introduce tuition fees that "may get to a million naira", union disagrees

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The Federal Government have insisted that the government is cash strapped and will need to introduce tuition fee across universities, according to reports.

Making a case for the government, Mr. Wale Babalakin, the chairman of the federal government’s negotiation team have explained that the Federal Government is financially incapable of funding education, except it would be allowed to introduce tuition fee across universities. 

However, reacting to that argument, Professor Ademola Aremu, immediate past ASUU National Treasurer, utterly condemned the argument which he said was a plan to price education out of the reach of the poor masses.

According to Town Crier, the union leader, Professor Ademola Aremu, said: “In one of our meetings with the government negotiation team, Mr. Wale Babalakin said government cannot fund education adequately except government introduces tuition fee. In fact, he brought out a paper where he proposed that students would have to pay as high as a million naira as tuition fee. But ASUU rejected such proposal because what it means, in a country said to be the headquarters of poverty, is that government is planing to price education out of the reach of the poor and downtrodden majority.”

On Mr. Wale Babalakin’s claim of government’s financial incapability of adequately funding education, Professor Aremu again dismissed the claim and stated that government is only not ready to prioritize public education.

“It is the same old story. ASUU understands government’s deception. The public must understand it too. Is this not the same way the past government claimed there was no money to fund education?”

Prof. Ademola Aremu continued:“But we are all living witnesses to the billions of dollars looted through Dansuki alone. Are you not aware that some months ago government took eight hundred billion naira to bail out Skye bank that is now known as Polaris bank.

Yet, in six years, government is not capable of injecting 1.3 trillion naira into public universities. What the students, their parents and the public at large must know is that government does not prioritize public education.”

Since the commencement of the strike on November 4, 2018, the Union and government had had six meetings without compromise.