The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says the federal government should have used the recovered $23 million Abacha loot to meet its demands.
Emmanuel Osodeke, President of ASUU, spoke on Tuesday in an interview on Channels Television.
ASUU has been on strike since February 2022 to protest the non-implementation of its demands by the federal government.
Last Tuesday, the federal government and the US reached an agreement to repatriate a new batch of funds looted by Sani Abacha, the former Nigerian head of state.
Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation, said the recovered loot, which is tagged ‘Abacha-5’, has been earmarked for the completion of the Abuja-Kano road, Lagos-Ibadan expressway and the Second Niger Bridge.
Following the announcement, conversation has been rife on whether the federal government is making the right decision on the recovered loot amid the lingering ASUU strike.
Giving his take on the development, Osodeke said the federal government would have deployed the recovered loot to education if the government loves the sector.
“Definitely. Let’s use a typical man as an example, you have a house and your child is sick seriously and you were paid money that you were not expecting. Where will you put the money?” the ASUU president asked.
“That child should be the first thing you will treat. Is it not? Before you will start thinking about how you are going to buy clothes.
“Your universities are shut for six months. You now have access to a fund you were not expecting, if you really love education, where should you put the money? In that particular place. They said they don’t have money. We need to love this country.”
Reacting to reports that ASUU had stopped negotiations with the federal government, Osodeke said: “In Nigeria, we have so many media — social media and what have you. They just release issues just to get popularity. We never said so. We are open to negotiations and invitations as a union.”
The union recently announced its decision to convert the roll-over strike into a “comprehensive, total and indefinite” industrial action.