Chris Steven, Abuja

The President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Abiodun Ogunyemi says promises by the Federal Government are cheap, noting that ASUU members would not be swayed by them.

“We have concluded that promises from the government are very cheap. We are not bothered about what promises the government makes now,” Ogunyemi said on Monday while featuring on the Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

This is coming less than 24 hours after the union commenced a nationwide strike to press home demands of its members from the Federal Government.

The decision to commence the strike was reached by ASUU leaders at a meeting held on Sunday at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, the Ondo State capital.

Ogunyemi at the end of the meeting told reporters that the union took the decision due to the poor funding of universities in the country.

He also decried the reduction in the budget for education in the past few years, stressing that the education sector of any nation should always be given adequate priority.

“There was an inter-ministerial retreat on education where the Minister (of Education) said for a nation to develop, it must earmark not less than 20 per cent to education.

“This year’s budget we have seven per cent, the previous year was seven per cent. If you go back to 2014, it was 12 per cent, 2015 was 11 per cent and it came down to eight per cent in 2016. And in the last two years, the budgetary allocation has been seven per cent,” he said

Ogunyemi also faulted some governors for denying their states access to the Federal Government’s grants for Universal Basic Education (UBE).

According to him, 17 states of the federation have failed to prioritize education.

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