An Abuja-based Legal Practitioner, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has on Thursday, appealed to Chief Executive Officers, CEOs, of some top Banks in the country, as well as some multi-billionaire Businessmen, including Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Abdul Samad Rabiu and Mike Adenuga, to come together to raise the demanded N1.1 trillion by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, from the Federal Government, so that the children of ordinary Nigerians can return to their Universities, since the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has shown no interest whatsoever, in paying the demanded funds, .
He said that the Federal Government has displayed irresponsibility and nonchalance to resolving the lingering strike by ASUU, which has lasted for many months, leaving the Students idle, frustrated and bored at home.
Olajengbesi therefore, urged the Captains of Industry to rise to the occasion, just as they did during the Covid-19 pandemic, when they contributed immensely to Nigeria’s fight against the dreaded disease and its economic implications.
He was reacting to the recent statement by the Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, who stated clearly that the Federal Government of President Buhari will not borrow the funds to pay ASUU to call off the strike, adding recklessly that University education is not for every Nigerian.
His exact words: “The comment by Governor Dave Umahi of the All Progressives Congress is uncharitable and insensitive to millions of Students of Public Universities who have been at home for seven months now, since February 14, 2022, when ASUU embarked on an industrial action this year.
“It is reckless for the Governor to say that the present administration cannot borrow N1.1 trillion to defray the Revitalisation Fund and the Earned Academic Allowance owed ASUU. Whereas, the APC government has embarked on a borrowing spree since 2015, with Nigeria’s debt to China increasing from $3.26 billion as of September 30, 2020, to $3.59 billion as of September 30, 2021, showing an increase of $330m in one year. The figure has definitely risen in the last one year.
“The APC government must know that education is at the core of any development. Spending loans on phantom White Elephant projects and train is counterproductive without building the mind. Any infrastructural development without human capital development is nonsense.
“Having demonstrated its unwillingness to end ASUU strike despite the billions that Umahi’s APC received in the recent primary elections, good-spirited Nigerians can only appeal to business magnate like Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Abdul Samad Rabiu, Mike Adenuga, as well as Bank Chiefs to come to the rescue of the common Nigerians whose children have been out of School for seven months this year, and nine months in 2022, whilst Politicians send their children to Schools abroad.
“The Philanthropists should please answer the call of the nation for youths to return to classrooms as some of them may be lured into crimes as a result of idleness. One of Nigeria’s greatest resources is its vibrant youth bulge and this population should be harness for productivity and not left to rot away.”