President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday called on ASUU members to reconsider their position on the ongoing strike.
The union began the strike on February 14.
The president expressed worry that the strike would have generational consequences on families, the education system, and the future development of Nigeria.
His media aide, Garba Shehu, stated that Mr Buhari made the call when he received some APC governors, legislators, and political leaders at his country home in Daura, Katsina. The visitors were in Daura to pay Sallah homage to the president.
Mr Buhari noted that the strike had taken a toll on the psychology of parents, students, and other stakeholders, throwing up many moral issues begging for attention.
He noted that the nation’s future rested on the quality of education, assuring that his regime understands ASUU’s position, but that negotiations should continue with students in lecture halls.
“We hope that ASUU will sympathize with the people on the prolonged strike. Truly, enough is enough for keeping students at home,” said the president. “Don’t hurt the next generation for goodness sake.”
The president called on all well-meaning Nigerians, particularly those close to ASUU leaders and members to persuade the lecturers to reconsider their position and its effects.
According to Mr. Buhari, Nigerian students will be faced with the challenge of competing with others in technology-driven workspaces.
Keeping the students at home, he argued, only deprived them of time, skills, and opportunities to be relevant on the global stage.
“Colonial type education was geared towards producing workers in government. Those jobs are no longer there. Our young people should get an education to prepare them for self-employment. Now education is for the sake of education,” Mr. Buhari explained.
He added, “Through technology, we are much more efficient. We should encourage our children to get an education not only to look for government jobs.”
Mr. Buhari further noted that resources should be channeled more into building infrastructure and operations of the health and educational sectors, not to expand the bureaucracy to create job opportunities.