The Academic staff union of universities (ASUU) have been on strike for close to 2 months now. Shortly after Academic staff union of polytechnic (ASUP) called off its own strike that lasted 3 months. Now, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) just started its own nationwide industrial action. One will be tempted to ask what is happening in Nigeria?
Of all the sectors of governance and economy, Education and health are the most basic and most important. Because they form the base of building a healthy and progressive nation.
No Nation can develop without quality health care for its citizenry. In the same vein, No nation can develop without the innovative minds that are created in the education sector.
And this is why I think that despite all the developmental strides of president Goodluck Jonathan, if these 2 sectors are not strengthened, all the developments will come crumbling.
A dying man won't remember that there's a world class airport somewhere, neither will he be interested using the rail to make some journey nor have the strength to efficiently fill in some job vacancy.
Where will the skilled labor, professionals and technicians needed to operate, maintain and improve on the various national projects going to come from if the educational sector remains in comatose.
Are we going to keep importing expensive expatriates to do this works. Or maybe the plan is to let this developmental projects rust away like the ones our colonial masters left us.
I don't see a win situation if the doctors and professors remain outside of the hospitals and classrooms. Even if we should build a tower of Babel, it is only a matter of time before it comes crashing down. Because the foundation which is these two sectors is not strong enough.
Whenever I look at Mr. President's cabinet, I see a lot of professors and professionals and a few backroom politicians. Does it mean that these professors have suddenly forgotten all they taught in the classrooms. Or is the curse on the Nigerian government institutions too strong for even the supposedly principled dons from the Ivory tower.
I think the government Led by Mr. President himself should as a Matter of urgency needs to return to the negotiation table with these bodies especially ASUU.
500 billion isn't too big a big price to pay for the development of education in this country. When the government can easily forgo 300 Billion dollars of stolen oil revenue without stress.
On the other hand, ASUU needs to come to terms with the fact that they aren't in the universities to make money. Afterall they are amongst the best paid in the world. They came to the universities because of the joy in impacting knowledge.