Nigerian students at public tertiary institutions were given a glimmer of hope on Monday, 7th January, 2019 after the Federal government offered N35 billion to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as a show of commitment to ending a strike that had been embarked by the Union since November, 2018 over improved funding of public tertiary universities. While the agreement is yet to be finalised by ASUU who must receive ratification of the proposal by its National Executive Council (NEC), it offers prospect of an end to the strike action.
The University Academic Staff have been on strike to demand an increased funding of public tertiary institutions, many of which are in a dilapidated state. On November 28, 2018 for instance, the House of Representatives declared a “state of emergency” on Nigeria’s educational sector after highlighting that the dwindling quality of education, poor infrastructure and general state of universities had led to many Nigerians taking recourse to institutions outside the country. The House also resolved to incrementally raise the educational budget within the next 4 years, subject to the availability of funds after observing the strategic role education plays in developing human capital and advancing the social, economic and technological transformation of any country.
Nigeria’s budget allocation to education is consistently below United Nations Education and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) recommendation for developing countries.