The Federal Government has faulted the fresh notice by the Academic Staff Union of Universities to embark on a fresh strike barely four months after calling off a 10-month industrial action.
The government said any person conceiving a strike after close to one year of downing tools would be doing a disservice to students “because government is a continuum.”
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who stated this in an interview with Sunday PUNCH, said it had been difficult for the government to run the lives of over 200 million people with less than $70m a day in earnings.
He said, “Whoever is conceiving a strike after being on a strike for close to one year is damaging the studentship because government is a continuum. Even if we are not in power today, another government, as the case may be, will be there.
“Whoever is in power will continue to engage with any union. But that shouldn’t stop the country from functioning because the rest of the country are the ones you put at risk.
“I have never supported strikes. However, I believe people should press for their demands as responsibly as possible. It is the responsibility of the government to continue to engage them.”
When asked if ASUU should still be patient with the government, Nwajiuba said it depended on the style of the demands.
He said, “It depends on the style of the demands; some of them are what the government can do now, some can be what the government can do later.
“I’m sure you’re aware of the revenue base of the country – 1.5 million barrels are sold. It is difficult to run the lives of over 200 million people with less than $70m a day in earnings. It is amazing that the President has managed to keep the country afloat.”