Barring last-minute frantic efforts to call off the strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU), there’s no doubt that the trade dispute between ASUU and the Federal Government of Nigeria has degenerated into arm-twisting since the FG has reneged on agreements between it and ASUU for the return of students to their various schools, thus undermining all efforts to reopen the universities.This deliberate manipulation of the dispute is evident in many ways the negotiations have failed, in addition to the curious approval of licences for 33 private universities in the country within 16 months (January 2021 to April 2022). Prior to the establishment of the 33 universities, the total number of universities in Nigeria stood at 186 comprising 49 federal universities, 59 state universities and 78 private universities.State and private universities do not bear the entire weight of this strike but the federal.It is already known that some states and private universities have withdrawn from the strike action because their pay does not come from the federal purse.Arguably, it is the failure of the federal government to efficiently manage the public university system that gave rise to the birth of private universities in Nigeria.Ironically, it is alleged that most of the private universities compromise standards by admitting unqualified candidates and even employing unqualified staff, both of which have lowered standards greatly.Upon the saddening news that a great number of university students have lost considerable periods of their studies, some Nigerian elites and politicians flaunt their children who are either schooling abroad or have graduated on social media, an action seen as a mockery of their mates schooling in Nigeria.This is not the best of times for education in Nigeria. It is not exemplary and a lasting solution must be found to end the ugly trend.There should not be half measures in tackling the problem.The federal government should give appropriate allocations towards university education. It is not expected to be less than 16 percent as other neighbouring countries do.The importance and role of education in changing the socio-economic landscape of the country cannot be overemphasised.As we look forward to the end of the strike, we commend the ASUU leadership for its tenacity of purpose and call on the federal government of Nigeria to do the needful.


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