On October 14, 2022, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) suspended its eight-month-long strike. As a result, several public universities across the country have announced resumption dates with some scheduling exams to start immediately.
What are people saying about it?
On October 22, 2022, the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, commented on how students are the biggest losers of the strike. He noted that they’ll be “railroaded” into completing their academic year but lecturers will get their outstanding salaries and the government will face no penalties.
A political economist who replied him also noted that some students are struggling with Nigeria’s flooding crisis but their problems are not taken into account.
Citizen spoke to two students about their experiences on readjusting to school life after the ASUU strike.
Ebuka — University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)
“I’ve already gone back to UNN. I’m a medical student so I don’t really have classes per se. We’ll be having online classes on Monday due to the sit-at-home order in Enugu. We’ll start going for postings at the hospital from Tuesday to Friday — that’s what we’ll be doing for eight weeks.
The cost of living has gone up a lot. A keke ride that used to be ₦50 is now ₦100, a bag of water has gone up to ₦200 and a bottle of Fanta is ₦220. I don’t even know what a ride to the hospital will cost now. Before the strike it was ₦150 and slowly increased to ₦200. It could be higher now with the flooding crisis and fuel scarcity.”
Shola — Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB)
“Yes, I’m in school now, but FUNAAB hasn’t released its academic calendar yet. I’m in school because of my project and it’s been a devastating thing for me as I should have graduated a long time ago. I’m still in school for a four-year course and I’ve spent six years already.
As a matter of fact, we’ve not yet resumed. Our Vice Chancellor will be rounding up his service on October 31, but there’s currently an internal issue — we don’t know when the calendar of the school will be out. Students are just roaming about the school environment.
It’s not been an easy journey for us as students of FUNAAB with national issues like the ASUU strike, the internal strike and also the NASU strike affecting us. We’re bitter and it’s not been funny — we’re down financially, morally and mentally.”