The Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi says the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has no reason to have embarked on strike.
ASUU commenced an indefinite strike on November 5 following the government’s refusal to play its role in the agreement both parties had earlier signed.
It said its decision was informed by poor funding of universities in the country, failure on the part of the government to honour the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the union and the federal government in 2017.
However, Fayemi said ASUU cannot have all its demands met “when you have competing needs” while speaking in Paris during President Muhammadu Buhari’s interactive session with Nigerians living in France.
He stated affirmatively that no government has done more for the union than the Buhari administration.
“I make bold to say that no government has done as much as this government has done. Not just for ASUU, but for tertiary education in our country,” Fayemi said.
“Is it enough? Absolutely, it’s not going to be enough. We have to keep doing more. But ask yourself what was the average wage in the university system before. A university professor earn more than me as a governor. My salary as a governor is N500,000. Most university professors earn about the same amount if not more.
“Yes, you may argue that there are other opportunities available, there are also other opportunities that are available that are not being taken advantage of by our academics. I can say a little bit about this because this is my terrain.
“I do not think that ASUU on its own strength can argue that government has not done well. There is hardly any institution in Nigeria today, including states universities, that have not had the benefit of intervention.
“It is either the government is building an auditorium or rehabilitating a laboratory, or improving on students hostels in virtually all the universities as I speak to you. That’s what TETFUND does via their intervention funds. That again is not the complete solution.
“Can we add more resources to the education budget? Absolutely we can. But when you have competing needs, you cannot have everything that you want. And this is something ASUU needs to know.”