Nigerian citizens spend around N1.6 trillion a year on tuition fees abroad, according to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, due to the country’s deteriorating and substandard state of tertiary education.
Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, President of ASUU, made the announcement while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the Nigerian Labour Congress’s Central Working Committee.
All Presidents and General Secretaries of its affiliate unions were present at the meeting held in Abuja yesterday. The unions discussed a variety of topics, including the situation of education in Nigeria.
Prof. Osodeke, who lamented that the country’s education system was rapidly deteriorating and falling short of international standards, expressed regret that such a large sum would not be enough to address the majority of the crisis in the Nigerian University System (NUS), which has continued to flare industrial disharmony.
He said: “Let’s work on the system in such a way that if it works our university can compete with any other university in the world in terms of staff and students.
“When you go to other universities even in Benin Republic, you have multiple people from different countries at the university with Multiple ideas but in Nigeria, we have refused to even look at the states; we have 90% of staff from the state and that’s the problem we’re having.
“No foreign student is coming in here, so many of our Nigerian students are moving abroad.
“A report earlier this year by the Central Bank stated that Nigerians spend N1.6trn every year to pay school fees outside. That money could revamp this system if we allow it to work. So those are the major reasons why we are on strike.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government has enforced a “no work, no pay” policy on the striking lecturers, according to several members of the striking university-based unions.
Recall that four unions; the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied Educational Institutions, and the National Association of Academic Technologists, went on strike, shutting down federal government-owned universities across the country.
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