Members of the union who staged a peaceful protest at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) on Friday, chanted songs and displayed placards condemning the posture of the Minister.
Some of the placards carried by the lecturers read “Okonjo-Iweala, take it or leave it is a dictator’s stance on labour industrial negotiation”, “Responsible government respects agreement” and “No nation can develop without genuine commitment to education”.
Speaking with journalists after the protest, Acting Chairman of ASUU ESUT chapter, Uche Omeje, said they were protesting because the federal government has refused to implement an agreement it freely went into with ASUU in 2009 as well as their memorandum of understanding of 2012.
“They have been dragging their feet and we are not happy. Such statement like ‘take it or leave it’ cannot promote education. No nation can develop by not having a genuine commitment to education, research and education.
“The Minister of Finance made a very clear statement that take it or leave it, federal government is not going to release extra ten kobo to fund education. We are saying that to make such a statement is clearly the mindset of Brettonwoods institution or Washington consensus. It is the mindset of a dictator” Omeje said.
He noted that if any nation must develop, it must show commitment to education, adding that it is not an issue of ‘take it or leave it’.
Omeje regretted that Nigeria occupies the bottom rock of nations that spent so less in education, stressing that the percentage of GDP federal government spends on education is so low when compared to other nations.