The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is criticizing the federal government’s economic policies, saying it has become too slow at implementing its campaign promises targeted at repositioning the nation’s economy.
The President of the union, Mr Nasir Fagge at a press conference in Abuja took a swipe at the federal government and its policies on the oil and gas sector of the economy.
The union also reflected on the hardship the lingering fuel crisis has caused citizens and its effects on the economy.
They called on the federal government to speedily implement its promises regarding the reformation of the oil and gas sector without any increase in the prices of petroleum products
The group is also proposing socialism as a better alternative form of government that will solve Nigeria’s problems.
A public affairs analyst and representative of the Joint Action Front, Achike Chude, on Monday, described the on-going protest by students of the Lagos State University (LASU) – over the hike in school fees as a fight for survival.
Appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Chude said the policy was “most irresponsible” of the Lagos government, insisting that education is “about a service that is crucial and important for the well-being of the State”.
He also argued that the controversy over the development of the school and the increase in fees, required will-power on the part of the government to ensure that the citizens got education, no matter what.
“Our leadership, in as much as some of them have been educated within and outside the country, they do not seem to understand the virtue of education. You pay a price if you do not educate your people,” he said, noting that although “education is not enough, it is a way forward”.
Referring to the recent ASUU strike, he stressed that the government had become comfortable based on the inaction of the people for many years and bad governance was helping to radicalise those considered docile.
He made mention of the recommendation of UNESCO which urged governments to set aside 26% of its budget for education, asking that “how much is Lagos State spending on education?”
Chude disclosed that the position of JAF on the matter was for government to reverse the fee to what it was before the protests, as it was the duty of government to inject funds into the system.
“Education should be free in this country, because of where we are and the government capacity.”
Asked why students usually protest any change made in the education system, particularly, any increase in fees, Chude explained that “there is a nexus between the average student and the government institution because he is aware his parents contributed to building that infrastructure”” .
He noted that as long as it was a public institution, people had the right to ask questions.
He further said that the fact that people were sending their children abroad to be educated does not make it a LASU issue. It is a Nigerian one.
“There’s nothing wrong if LASU is a school for the poor,” he said.
Former CPC spokesman, Rotimi Fashakin, has said that challenges the newly registered All Progressive’s Congress (APC) is likely to face are ‘infinitesimal’ compared to the hurdles it has had to surmount in its quest to become a registered political group in Nigeria.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, he said that what the party means by calling itself an alternative is that it is coming on board “with a view to right the wrong” made by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Professor Otubanjo had stated that “the APC is not an alternative” but “it’s just a different party” because it is not offering an ‘ideological alternative’ different from that of the ruling PDP.
Mr Fashakin, in his reply said the “PDP’s rule over Nigeria has been a scourge on the Nigerian people”.
“So when we say we are an alternative to PDP, we know what we are talking about,” he said.
Reacting to Professor Otubanjo’s prediction that the APC will soon encounter problems of dissatisfaction by members, Mr Fashakin said that registration is to commence in earnest.
There is no group registration and everybody is coming at ‘equi’ (the same) potential, he said, adding that the bulk of Nigerians that would be in the APC would be enough to push PDP out of power.
There would be challenges of being big but “the impediments that are ahead are too infinitesimal compared to those that we had surmounted in the past, in the course of our coming together as a political party,” he said.
He revealed that a new group called “APC progressive governors”, made up of 11 governors under the umbrella of the merger, has been formed.