Tinubu working to avert looming ASUU strike, Gbaja assures students

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Femi Gbajabiamila, chief of staff (CoS) President Bola Tinubu, says efforts are on to avert a looming industrial action by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).


Gbajabiamila spoke on Wednesday when he received the representatives of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) led by Lucky Emonefe, president of the association, at the presidential villa.

“There may be another looming ASUU strike, and we are trying to address that, we are looking at issues that concern ASUU, the impending strike and I believe we should be able to avert that as you have said earlier, we can always do our best to avert strikes such as this,” the chief of staff said.


“Luckily, we have a president who is more than anybody determined that the days of strike are over and left behind. We are hoping to be able to avert the strikes.”

He added that Tinubu had through several directives declared an end to further strikes.

Gbajabiamila reiterated that the student loan policy would guarantee that every student gets access to high-quality education.

“Mr President is determined that we see it through and see it through successfully that was supposed to be launched in January but it is anything worth doing and it is worth doing well,” he said.

“We are hoping it will be launched in the next two to three weeks, we are trying to dot the I(s) and the T(s) before it is launched to ensure we have policies that cannot be faulted.”

He added that the student loan scheme, when successfully launched, will become part of the legacies of the present administration.

Gbajabiamila urged the NANS to speak out against criticism of the scheme, saying the programme was created for the good of citizens.

“Now we are going to need you in the success of this policy because, generally, it is a well-received policy but there may be one or two segments of the society for the reason some people in some quarters may be kicking against it, this policy is for the Nigerian student, it is to make sure that no student is left behind when it comes to education,” he said.

“It is to make sure people are not deprived of their education just because of circumstances of their birth that itself is unconstitutional.

“Now that the child of indigent should not be deprived of what should be a right, not to make education a privilege but a right.

“So when voices speak up against it we expect you to rise for support, this is something that you all support, embrace and work towards its success.”

Gbajabiamila also added that the government is working on establishing a youth advisory council that would advise the president on youth matters.

The students loans (access to higher education) Act was passed by the national assembly in 2023 to provide easy access to higher education for indigent Nigerians through interest-free loans and was signed into law by Tinubu on June 13, 2023.

Akintunde Sawyerr, executive secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), said that the portal will go live on February 21.