A Lagos lawmaker, Mr Rasheed Makinde, has advised the Federal Government and striking workers’ unions in Nigerian universities to resolve disagreements for students to return to school for academic activities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) has grounded academic activities in public universities.
Makinde, a two-term lawmaker, representing Ifako- Ijaiye Constituency II in the Lagos State House of Assembly, made this plea while presenting a free Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) registration to 350 indigent students in the constituency.
“The issue is on the exclusive list which the Lagos State or any state cannot interfere in.
“It is the issue of the Federal Government and I believe, they (Federal Government and the striking university unions) are on negotiating table of which the Federal Government will attend them.
“In due course, I believe they will call off the strike and resume back to school,” Makinde said.
The lawmaker, who noted that the development of education was part of his manifestoes, said that many indigent students who had benefitted from the free UTME registration since 2015 were now graduates.
He said: “Why I do this is as a result of many testimonials this initiative of FREE UTME/JAMB has brought to my table, as we now have graduates of this initiative who are now doing marvelously well in various organisations, both public and private.
“This initiative since commencement in 2015, we have been able to reach out to 1,050 genuine beneficiaries.
“This year, we have been able to reach out to over 350 direct beneficiaries with the support of the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Idris Salako, and others.”
He urged the beneficiaries to justify his investment in education, by focusing on their studies to get the required scores for admission into their respective universities of choice.
Makinde, who expressed commitment to contributing his quota to the achievement of THEME agenda of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that he had also set up tutorial classes on Computer Based Test (CBT) for the beneficiaries.
According to him, efforts will be made to also help outstanding students secure admission into universities.
The lawmaker, who noted that he had been engaging the beneficiaries since February to prepare them for the examination, said that he would not relent in his commitment to serving the people.
He solicited the support of the constituents to represent them again in the Lagos Assembly for quality representation in the 2023 general elections.
In his remarks, Salako, who noted that Sanwo-Olu had given the best attention to education and youth empowerment, urged the beneficiaries to study hard so as to also give back to society in the future.
One of the beneficiaries, Johnson Olaoluwa, a 19-year-old student, who commended Makinde for the gesture, called for more scholarship platforms for outstanding students.
Another beneficiary, Miss Deborah Egede, an 18-year-old student, said that the initiative was good, urging the lawmaker to sustain and expand it to capture more indigent students.