The Presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, on Thursday, declared that he would end industrial action in Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions, a situation he claimed had crippled university education in the country.
Obi spoke at the University of Nigeria Nsukka Business Interactive Session titled: “State of the Nigerian Economy: The Way Forward,” held at the Central Bank of Nigeria, Auditorium, at the Enugu Campus of UNN.
The former Governor of Anambra State pledged that once he becomes the President, the Academic Staff Union of Universities strike would be a thing of the past, because “we will not have one day of ASUU strike.”
Lamenting the frequent strikes being witnessed in the Nigerian universities, Obi said in his days at UNN as a student, they never witnessed strikes.
He pointed out that there was nothing big about funding the universities.
“There is nothing big about funding the universities. Funding a university is the collaboration of everybody. Education is not an expense but an investment. We’ll make sure that nothing stops education,” he said.
To encourage university education, Obi said students could be given loans to study and repay the loans after graduation.
We shall give students loans which they will pay when they get jobs,” the former governor said.
He said that there was nowhere in the world where university teachers are being toyed with, adding that they should be motivated to work to improve their industry.
On security, Obi said for there to be effective security, a security outfit should be set up in every community.
He, however, said that insecurity was not peculiar to Nigeria because some nations of the world like Mexico and Brazil were once imbued in situations akin to what is being witnessed in Nigeria today.
He pointed out that good governance, provision of jobs to the youths and industrialisation would check insecurity in Nigeria.
On how best to buoy Nigeria from the present economic quagmire, banks of Industry and Agriculture should not be managed by governments but by individuals and corporate organisations.
On his part, the Director of UNN Business School, Prof. Josephat Onwumere, said that they organised the interactive session so that the presidential candidates could tell Nigerians how they would turn round the economy.
Onwumere said that it was important that Nigeria produces men with competence that can move Nigeria forward, adding that other presidential candidates would be invited by the Business School to showcase their manifesto to the world.