Jonathan urges universities to eschew strikes

President Goodluck Jonathan has called on university staff to eschew the strike option as a means of getting their demands from government.

Speaking during the 26th Convocation Ceremony of the University of Calabar yesterday, Jonathan said it is only when staff unions do away with strike that Nigerian universities would occupy their rightful place among great institutions of learning around the world.

The President, who was represented by the Minister for Education, Prof Raqqayatu Ahmed, said unbridled strikes inflict pain on the students and do more harm than good to the university system.

He said the education sector is one of the key areas undergoing reforms to ensure that students and the nation are well served by the schooling system.

Jonathan added that the Federal Government has mandated tertiary institutions to introduce entrepreneurial skills into their curriculum.

According to him, this will ensure that youths leave school with skills that will turn them into job creators, rather than waiting for years to secure their dream jobs.

The President said it was dispiriting to receive reports of violence by students on the 26th and 27th of August last year which led to destruction of property worth hundreds of millions, adding that dialogue is the best way to resolve disagreements.

He also urged the university to strengthen efforts at internal generated revenue and exploration of external funding possibilities as government alone cannot provide all the funds needed to run the institution.

Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof James Epoke, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for donating N30 million to aid in repairing structures damaged in last year’s riot.

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Jonathan urges universities to eschew strikes