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ANPG Warns Against Consequences Of Continued ASUU Strike, Calls For Cease Fire

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The African Network For Peace And Good Governance (ANPG), an NGO, has urged amicable resolution of disagreement between Federal Government and  Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for students’ return to school.

The Executive Director of the NGO, Bede Aneke, in a statement on Wednesday in Enugu, said that the strike had led some students into social vices such as armed robbery, prostitution, cyber scams and pool betting among others.

According to Aneke, if the strike continued with ASUU and Federal government refusing to find a common ground to resolve the crisis permanently, the county was in for serious socio-economic crimes and vices.

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He said: “For more than four months now, public universities in the country have been closed, are we really progressing or retrogressing?

“We cannot advance when the education sector is in shambles, the foundation of development.

“Countries do not grow like this, our children are now roaming the streets, and some have gotten themselves involved in crimes.

“Our best brains are leaving the shores of the country in search of a better working environment abroad, where did we get it wrong?”

Aneke noted that the damaging effects of the ongoing strike on the nation’s educational system are better imagined than experienced, adding: “Government must resolve this to save the country from shame and disgrace”.

He noted that universities are supposed to offer solutions to different issues confronting the country through their research.

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“Our governors are proud of jetting out abroad to take photographs with their children who are either graduating or matriculating in foreign universities.

“While back home, they have refused to invest in education to make it attractive like the ones they send their children to study abroad, is it not a shame?

“The children of the poor who attend these public universities are the ones suffering this anomaly,” he said.

Aneke urged the Federal Government to resolve the crisis by making serious commitments to demands of ASUU, adding the government should increase allocations to universities and the education sector by 26 per cent or more.

“Adopting of a transparent payment platform should be critical to resolving the current impasse in the nation’s university system,” he added.

It would be recalled that the strike which is almost five months old, commenced on Feb. 14, 2022.

ASUU, which is the professional body of the nation’s lecturers, had been at loggerheads with the Federal Government over the latter’s refusal to honour the 2009 agreement it entered with it.

The demands in the agreements included condition of service of university lecturers to be reviewed every five years, issue of salaries, allowances as well as revitalization fund for public universities.

Others are University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS); promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement, and the inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System Payment (IPPIS).

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