Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that if he is elected as president he will put an end to the persistent strike by Nigerian university lecturers on his first day in office.
Atiku, a former vice president, made this disclosure in Lagos on Sunday evening, at the Silverbird Man of the Year event.
He said the industrial action which has denied university students in the country access to education for a period running into four months is disgraceful and thus will receive his first attention as president if voted into office in the February 16 presidential election.
“I am aghast that as I speak, our students across the nation are not being educated due to the ASUU strike caused by an unresolved debate of about N60 billion,” Atiku said in a statement.
“If I get the job I am seeking, my first task on day one – along with naming my cabinet – will be to end this disgraceful strike and get our students back to their studies.”
“I will also triple the amount the Nigerian government spends on education from 7 percent of its budget today, not just to the 15 percent recommended by UNESCO, but to 20 percent.
“I recognise the value education can bring to the individual and the nation. But even more than that, I want every child in Nigeria to have the opportunities I had.”
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) industrial strike has become recurrent over the years.
The strike actions are usually as a result of the federal government not responding to the lecturers’ demands at the time they ask for it.