Dave Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State, said on Wednesday that a college education is not for everyone.
Umahi, who is the chairman of the Southeast Governors forum, noted that it was unreasonable to expect the federal government to borrow from N1trn to meet the demands of the Universities Academic Staff Union.
The governor spoke against the backdrop of ongoing industrial action by university professors across the country, when he received a delegation from the Nigerian Police Trust Fund by Dr Ben Akabueze, in Abakaliki on Wednesday.
According to the governor, education and security were the most difficult issues plaguing the country.
He argued that the nation’s education system is not properly articulated, adding that the basic education that every nation strives to achieve is secondary or vocational education.
Umahi said, “Our fundamental issues in this country remain security, health and education. Let me talk a bit about education, which is in our public domain. I think our education system is not well articulated.
“University education is not for everyone and that is the truth. The basic education that every country strives to achieve is secondary school and vocational schools. These are the basic schools, and when you have these qualifications, you can use them either to start something or to be able to use them to be employed.
“We need to review our education system. It doesn’t have to be for everyone. I’m not ashamed to have a first degree and my assistant has a doctorate; it does not matter. It’s what you bring on board. So I don’t see how we can’t sit down with the leaders of the University Academic Staff Union and sort out this issue regarding the ASUU strike.
“I read on social media, in the newspapers, how students got into trouble just by sitting at home or engaging in ways to occupy themselves instead of being in school.
“There is no way the Nigerian country is going to borrow N1.1tn to meet the demands of ASUU; that’s pretty unreasonable. Are their demands sincere? Yes, but we can start small.
“So it is important for the ASUU to show understanding and for those negotiating on the government side to show understanding as well. Let’s meet halfway and open the schools to save the fate of our children.