The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said the Federal Government has money to fund its demand but remains adamant to improving the education sector in the country.
ASUU President, Prof.Emmanuel Osodeke, stated that the union did not tell the Federal Government to borrow to fund its demand.
He said tertiary institutions in the country had suffered enough setbacks, hence the authorities should be awake to its obligations.
He said, “Who is asking them to borrow? They (Federal Government) have the money. If they can release N400bn for trader money, did they borrow that? Is trader money more important than universities being closed?
“If they dedicate N200bn for feeding of children in school, which we don’t see; if they can be thinking of plea bargain with somebody who stole N80bn, they should let Nigerians know that they are not interested in education rather than giving flimsy excuses.
“We are not asking the government to borrow; we say they should fund education.”
Recall that the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, earlier stated that the government can’t borrow N1.1trn to meet ASUU’s demand.
Umahi while receiving members of the Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund in Abakaliki, the state capital, said, “There is no way the country will go and borrow N1.1trn to meet ASUU’s demand. It’s quite unreasonable. Are their demands genuine? Yes, but we can start little by little.”
Reacting, the ASUU president said, “Is he the spokesman for the government? We will not respond to him.”
In the same vein, the National Association of Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria, President, Mr Haruna Danjuma, stated that the Ebonyi State governor was speaking his own view.
He said, “I believe that’s Umahi’s view and he is not speaking for Mr. President or for the Federal Government. We also have a Minister of Education. So, I take it to be his view.
“Parents are not saying that the Federal Government should borrow such an amount to equip our university and I don’t think ASUU told the Federal Government to borrow money to fund the universities. It’s in the hands of the government to either borrow or not.