The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has delivered a damning evaluation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to use education to combat poverty.
Reacting to Buhari’s comments on the importance of education as the only means to end poverty, the union said the president lacked the commitment to use education to solve the problem of poverty in Nigeria.
Describing Buhari’s comments as political, Chairman of the union at the University of Ibadan, Professor Deji Omole, in a statement issued on Sunday said the president and his team through their education policies have shown hatred to fund and offer Nigerians qualitative education.
Professor Omole said; “He is back to a familiar terrain. We are also in that same terrain. He spent more than three years in his first term and made so many political statements which were never implemented. One of such statements was the fact that they were going to declare state of emergency in the education sector and till he left office in his first term that was not done.
“In fact there was no attempt towards that direction. Rather than moving towards declaring state of emergency, what we saw was further reduction in the budgetary allocation to education. I don’t think anyone should expect any radical change from what happened to education in his first term and from what is going to happen.
“The administration has demonstrated its hatred for education by constantly reducing the budgetary allocation to education. Most of their policies are anti-university.
“For example, in UI today, it’s almost impossible to recruit new staff meanwhile people are dying as a result of excess work and people are retiring and you are not employing new people. So, I don’t expect sharp departure from what it used to be. He does not need to tell us. We all know.
“All the developed world have been able to solve their problems through education and that is why we have always been engaging different governments that the only antidote to poverty is putting adequate attention to educating the masses.
“No nation can ever grow beyond the quality of education given to its citizens. Nobody will come from America to develop Nigeria. Nigeria can only be developed by Nigerians themselves and they can only develop if they have quality education to grow the economy. So it is not enough to make a political statement, you must follow it with action,” he added.
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