No doubt that the strike embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) has been a nationalistic fight to finish, it came at a loss to the country. This is as voted by students, the top 5 losers of the ASUU strike:
1. Students- Aside being academically dormant for over 5months, thus raising the fear of mass failure during exams expected to be rushed within the months of January to February next year, while some have lost their lives or dignity indulging in one criminal activity or another, others are growing lean wondering how to tackle their house rents at school, that have most likely expired, with the academic year uncompleted. The strike will also delay these current finalists from making the February/March NYSC batch, pushing them to June and November.
2. Campus Businesses- Even here at Abia State University, the standard of living of the canteen operators have dropped. So also have times become rough for the motorcycle riders, photocopy shops, photographers, other businesses and even churches on campus.
3. Lecturers- Most of them were financially stranded by september when their nursery, primary and secondary school children had to return to school with no money for fees, uniform and books, owing to no salary and no proceeds from sale of textbooks and handouts.
4. Federal Government- The ultimatum that didn’t work showed how weak the FG is and set a bad precedent for other unions to follow.
5. President Goodluck Jonathan- This charade was bad for his political ambition of vying for second term, as well as for his political party PDP presidentially.
The top 5 gainers however were:
1. Newspapers- Most newspapers especially those online enjoyed an influx of new customers reading updates on ASUU strike.
2. Vice Chancellors- They sat and watch ASUU struggle to make huge sums available to them to improve their various varsities. Some of these funds will be diverted for personal use of course.
3. Facebook- There was an increase in the use of facebook by Nigerian Public University students this period.
4. Lecturers- They are to be paid for not working, not being stresses, and shall enjoy earned allowances most of them probably lost hope of getting, or didn’t know they were entitled to earn.
5. Hostel/Lodge Landlords- They will earn payment for emergency periods of learning. The quest to retain one’s room for the rest of the semester or session ie. January to whenever, might force some to pay for a year they may not complete in that lodge.
Going through the above, it is clear that the strike had more negative consequences than positive. Economically, Nigeria was at loss for this strike. It is thus the hope of every Nigerian university student, that the ASUU strike ends this week as anticipated, so that we can return to learning by 6th January, uncomfortably but necessarily.
Chris U. Oliver
President, Economics Department, Abia State University (ABSU).
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