The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has slammed the federal government as well as the political class for abandoning university students to their fate to face the brunt of the strike by workers in government-owned tertiary institutions.
At the meeting of its Central Working Committee in preparation for the May Day Commemoration on May 1st, 2022, the NLC described the situation as injustice on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and by extension the children of the underprivileged who attend public universities.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, who addressed the opening ceremony of the CWC meeting held yesterday in Abuja said, “We are facing a period of great injustice on the downtrodden of the society, children of the poor are at home but the children of the rich are going to school, we have written several communications to the government but no response till date, rather they are busy discussing politics.”
ASUU and the federal government is having a lingering face-off over dispute bothering on funding of Nigerian universities, poor welfare packages, among others, which had led to closure of public universities for over two months.
Speaking further, Wabba said: “I think it’s very clear we have not had it rosy, we just got out of COVID-19 but we have more serious challenges centred around education.
“As you all know; the children of the poor are at home while those of the rich are going to school. To date, we have communicated through recommendations to the government but no response.
“This is most disheartening because people in our generation benefited from free education, from primary to tertiary level. This is not acceptable, instead of the politicians discussing these issues as a national emergency they are occupied with the 2023 elections.
“We at this CWC meeting would be looking at the upcoming political dispensation. A lot of broken promises. No worker should sit down and just watch, certainly, that will not be our portion. We must engage politicians, making sure the downtrodden is accommodated in the next political dispensation.”
Newsmen gathered that the meeting which lasted till late evening, would come up with a communiqué stating definite position on measures to take compel ASUU and the federal government to find amicable solution to the crisis in nation’s universities in order to reopen the institutions.