(By Dotun Onimole)

Rising from a meeting with the Senate Committee on Education, the National Association of Nigeria University Students (NANUS) yesterday distanced itself from the ongoing dispute between tertiary unions and the federal government.

The national student body, led by its national president, Peter Bassey Asuquo, insisted that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) did not consult with the student community before embarking on the prolonged strike.

“We are indeed saddened to the highest pitch and peak that ASUU has unilaterally decided to embark on yet another needless strike to drive home a point against the federal government,” NANUS told the Senator Uche Chukwumerije-led Senate Committee.

Again, the student body lamented that incessant strikes embarked on by ASUU has failed to impact on the infrastructure status of government universities nationwide. They accused the lecturers of pursuing selfish ends to the detriment of Nigerian students.

NANUS urged the Senate Committee on Education to probe government-run universities on their internally Generated Revenue (IGR). The student bodies insist that the IGRs have been largely misapplied leaving universities with dilapidated infrastructure and learning aids.

Chukwumerije queried the paucity of IGR generated by universities on occasions when the education committee carried out oversight on the universities. He queried the incessant strikes and called for alternatives to resolution of disputes between tertiary unions and the federal government.

We recall that ASUU declared an indefinite strike based on the refusal of government to honour the terms of a 2009 agreement and a 2012 memorandum of understanding it signed with the lecturers for improved welfare and increased funding for universities.