Former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Education, Mr. Farouk Lawan, on Thursday advised the Federal Government against signing any agreement it would not honour with the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Lawan who rued the deteriorating situation of the universities, urged the Federal Government and ASUU to return to the negotiation table.
“What we hear is that ASUU has pulled out of the talks to end the ongoing strike; this will only worsen the situation. Both parties should return to continue with the talks.
“Frequent strikes undermine the quality and standard of our education”, Lawan told reporters in Abuja.
He observed that a major setback for government/ASUU relations over the years had been the signing of agreements that the government was not ready to implement.
According to Lawan, this happens because government is desperate to get the lecturers back to the classrooms after a prolonged strike.
He advised that in the ongoing discussions between the parties, government should restrain from making promises it was not willing to implement.
The lawmaker said, “Government often rushes into signing agreements because it is desperate to get lecturers back to the classroom.
“This is what has happened to the 2009 agreement, which is the cause of the current strike.
“Before then, there were other agreements up to 2009 and they always bordered on the lack of will to honour them.”
He also called on ASUU to find new ways of getting the government to honour its agreements or to adequately fund the universities “without necessarily going on strike.”
ASUU is demanding the payment of entitlements of about N87bn, in addition to improving the general condition of the universities.
The current strike, which is over two months old, has dragged on because government said it could not afford to pay the money.