From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Executive Director of Africa Youth Growth Foundation, Dr. Arome Salifu, has weigh in on the lingering faceoff between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), warning that incessant strike would create workforce gap in future.
ASUU embarked on strike since February over unpaid allowance by the Federal Government.
But Arome, at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, added that impasse would further lead to brain drain, resulting from continuous unemployment.
He said: “The ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities is crippling the education sector, particularly in the areas of engineering, research and development.
“One of the consequences of this is the workforce gap it would create in the future.
“Another major fallout of the incessant strike is the brain drain resulting from continuous unemployment.
“Statistics have it that it would take Africa, Nigeria inclusive, 250 years to get to the current development level of the United States of America.
He appealed with the government and ASUU to sheathe their swords and find a common ground to relax the tension.
“While we recommend that the government put empathy for the students first, it must take into cognizance the fact that our human capital development gap is widening.
“The students are going to be rushed through their courses,
overburdened and the entire system will be crowded with mediocrity.
“Therefore, the government must as a matter of urgency, go the whole hog in solving this issue.
“We are also urging ASUU to consider finding a middle ground in all that has been said and agreed in the negotiations with government and other stakeholders in the interest of national cohesion and posterity.
“Our dear students should in the interim, register for online courses to update themselves, acquire skills and become productive while negotiations progress. Any period of crises is a period to rediscover one’s self,” he said.