The Federal Government has again explained why it will not grant all the demands contained in the contentious 2009 agreements with the Academic Staff of Nigerian Universities (ASUU); saying granting such will ground all other critical sectors.
Labaran Maku, Minister of Information who disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, insisted government would stop working should it decides to meet all the demands of the striking lecturers.
He also said that contrary to impression being created by ASUU officials, government has invested huge sum of money on the development of tertiary education in the past years through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
Maku therefore, called on well meaning Nigerians to appeal to the striking lecturers to return to the classrooms. He also reminded them that security challenge is gulping huge sum from government’s purse and cannot be neglected.
He said further, “If we say every particular problem we face in this country we will not work until it is resolved, then I’m sure there is no sector that will work. If we all insist that every sector problem must be completely solved, we will down tools we will not work, then the country will stop working.
“We are partners with ASUU. We are friends. They are our patriots and we understand the critical role that the universities teachers are doing to create a new society that we are hoping to have. But at the same time, this is a reality question that we need to look at and we have to put the nation first.
“I know all of us desire more from the system but the truth is that there are limitations and from the limitations we have, we believe that ASUU really needs to do rethink and ensure that we reopen our universities because really we are feeling the pain of our children being at home and this indeed is completely avoidable.”