Elder Statesman Edwin Clark said there was need for the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to take over negotiations regarding the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ strike.
The elder statesman, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, said Adamu was in a better position to arrive at a reasonable agreement with ASUU.
He said education matters ought to be handled by someone who appreciates the effect of the strike, adding that it was affecting every fabric of the economy.
According to him, besides the long-term effect, the strike has distorted school calendar, increased crime rate, impoverished communities that make a living from schools, among other things.
“The Federal Ministry of Education should take over negotiation from labour because the labour ministry is treating ASUU case like any other industrial matter.
“ASUU is not fighting for their personal interest alone. I learnt it is only now they are including the review of their own salary, otherwise the 2009 agreement they are talking about is for infrastructure development.
“In every country, education is number one on the list. Once the people are educated, other sectors of the economy will have fewer challenges.
“The Accountant-General, who was supposed to have generated this payment, is alleged to have embezzled N80 billion.
“That is about half of what ASUU is demanding for to largely develop our education system.
“ASUU is demanding for about N200 billion, that is not too much to fix a critical sector like education,’’ he said.