Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC), has pleaded to members of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to be considerate in their demands
National Auditor of APC, George Moghalu, made the appeal while unveiling the new school he built for his wife at the weekend in Abuja.
The member of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) argued that meeting ASUU demand would be impossible considering the dwindling economic fortune the country is currently facing.
Promising to give scholarship awards to brilliant indigent students in the school, Moghalu said: “For me, education is a social service; (it is) giving back to the society.
“This is the driving force; my wife has always had a passion and a vision since we got married 31 years ago, to establish a school where young people can be brought up with the fear of God and given proper direction for their lives.
“I see it as a challenge on my part to support her dream. And because she sees it more as a social service, I’m sure the school fees will not be exorbitant.
“Essentially, I have told her that I am going to support her by way of providing scholarship opportunities for the indigent children that are academically sound but have handicap parents,” he said.
Asked how much APC has contributed to the promotion of education especially with regard to the resolution of the ongoing ASUU strike, he said: “What you should understand is that the Federal government investment in education is quite high. It has never been as high as it is now.
“Yes, we understand ASUU is on strike, but what is important is that government has engaged ASUU. I can say that with certainty because of the confirmation by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, that discussion is still ongoing. I am sure the issue will be resolved.
“However, one thing we must understand is that education is capital intensive. I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the understanding of the striking academic union to look at it from the point that Nigeria is a collective enterprise.
“The cumulative failures of the past government that have now come to be a burden on this government should not the basis to access this government. One thing we must do is to avoid playing politics with education because is the only way we can empower a society and prepare it for greater responsibilities.
“Government is doing the much it can by engaging ASUU but whatever might be the outcome of the decision, we must not lose sight of the fact that the resources (available) to government is dwindling and shrinking on daily basis and there is nothing we can do about it.
“What it means is that ASUU has to be considerate in its demands. Its members must understand the challenges facing this government. It should be a collective stake for all of us.
“Government alone cannot fund education; in that case, my appeal to ASUU is to be considerate and give government a chance. This government inherited the rot of the past 20 years and the burden cannot be left for it alone. Nigeria must be seen as an ongoing project,” he said.