Nigerian Government Not Serious in Resolving University Lecturers’ Strike, Senator Ogunlewe Says

Ogunlewe was a guest on the ARISE News programme, The Morning Show where he noted that the federal government lacks a clear cut plan and policy for the education sector.

“It is the federal government that is not serious. What is your policy on education? it is not the minister of education that will determine the policy of a political party.

“Do you want to run a socialist economy or a republican economy. How can you say universities should be free, where is that done anywhere in the world, if that is the program of your party you pay,” he said.

The former lawmaker advised the government to emulate policies being used in Ghana and Sierra Leone to run their universities.

“There has been an assessment of how much it cost to train an undergraduate five years ago and it cost about N350,000 and the ASUU are saying pay us this money per student and leave us to run the university, those are the things you do.

“That was what Jerry Rawlings did in Ghana, he closed the universities for two years and said if you cannot pay I cannot run the universities for you, and till today it is the money from Nigeria that is been used to run the universities in Ghana.

“In Lagos State, we have eighteen thousand private schools and they pay an average of N350,000, N500,000 and they pay, you are now saying it is the same students that will go to the universities free.

“Another policy which was done in Sierra Leone, Fourah Bay College, the vice-chancellor said give me 50% on the basis of commercialization and the other 50% can be done by the government and they are paying and they are running the universities.

“You cannot run the universities free, how can somebody study medicine in a university free, sciences free. Just go to our universities, you will pity them, there is no light, no equipment, they carry out research just for the sake, but if you want research that will impact on national development, you must pay for it.

“So my take is simple, federal government what is your policy on national education. Do you want to fund free education at the university level, then provide the money.”

By Abel Ejikeme

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