By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has pledged to end the lingering strike by university lecturers in the country, from his first day at work, if elected the next president of the country.
The presidential candidate made this disclosure in Lagos, Sunday evening at the Silverbird Man of the Year event.
Atiku, in a statement Monday by his media aide, Mr. Paul Ibe, said that the industrial action, which has denied university students in the country access to education for a period running into four months, was disgraceful and would receive his first attention as president if voted into office in the February 16 presidential election.
The former vice-president observed that education plays a pivotal role in the rise to success of any individual or nation, stressing that if he becomes the next president of Nigeria, his administration would increase the budgetary allocation to education in triple fold from the current 7 per cent to not less than 20 per cent.
He stated: “I am aghast that as I speak, our students across the nation are not being educated due to the ASUU strike caused by an unresolved debate of about N60 billion.
“If I get the job I am seeking, my first task on day one – along with naming my cabinet – will be to end this disgraceful strike and get our students back to their studies.
“I will also triple the amount the Nigerian Government spends on education from 7 per cent of its budget today, not just to the 15 per cent recommended by UNESCO, but to 20 per cent.
“I recognise the value education can bring to the individual and the nation. But even more than that, I want every child in Nigeria to have the opportunities I had.”