Stakeholders in the education industry in Nigeria, including the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, on Tuesday, urged the striking university lecturers in the country to return to class.

They noted that the Federal Government had showed more commitment towards addressing the rot in the sector which should necessitate resumption of academic activities in the universities across the country.

They all spoke at the opening of the 28th annual conference of the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) with the theme: “The Nigerian University System: The Challenges and Prospects of Globalisation.”

The Vice Chancellor of FUTA, Professor Adebiyi Daramola, in his welcome address, expressed sadness over the effect of the over four months old strike on the educational development of the country.

He said, “It is sad to note that a total of four months have been lost to this ASUU strike by all public universities in the country. This is already having a negative toll on the universities. No meaningful progress can be achieved if we keep closing down academic business for a long time on our campuses.”

In his presentation, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Julius Okojie, said it was high time stakeholders decided on a lasting solution to the problems facing tertiary education in the country.

Okojie, who spoke through a visiting professor of the commission, Professor Sola Akinrinade, said vice chancellors had a great role to play in ensuring stability in the educational system of the country

Mimiko, who declared the conference open, regretted that the strike had further worsened the state of education in the country, calling on ASUU to suspend the strike and return to class.

The governor said: “I am certain that the state of university education in Nigeria has been further worsened by the over four months ASUU strike. I salute the laudable intervention of the Federal Government at resolving the impasse. I also enjoin ASUU to suspend the strike in the overall interest of our country.”

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