The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been going on strike almost annually for the past ten years over several demands.
Since the year 1999, ASUU has commenced several strikes that have lasted for weeks or months. Some of the major reasons have been issues of funding, the revitalisation of Nigerian public universities and designated earned allowances.
The most recent strike by ASUU began one year and one month after it ended a nine-month strike over financial and benefit concerns.
ASUU has been on strike for the past few months, specifically since February 14, and it feels like it will never end.
On Monday ASUU’s national president, Prof. Emmanuel Osedeke, stated that the strike would continue unless the government accepted UTAS and upheld the 2009 agreement.
Here are 5 economic impacts of the ASUU strike no one is talking about.
1. A weakened labour force
Students are the ones most likely to feel the impact of the ASUU strike. The children of the wealthy in Nigeria attend private schools, and some even fly abroad to complete their degrees, whereas the commoners are forced to send their children to public schools.
The longer the strike lasts, the worse the child’s academic performance is. Students’ reading skills worsen when learning is put on hold for a lengthy period of time.
Some students even lose the knowledge they acquired while taking classes. Due to this, some students start pursuing certificates rather than knowledge, which lowers productivity and creates pupils of worse calibre.
2. Wasted funds on education
The continuous strike can lead the state and federal governments to lose billions of dollars in revenue from paying academics for services not provided after the strike and the cost of maintaining university-owned utilities like cars and generators during a protracted strike by university lecturers.
3. More jobless youths
Strike-related delays in schooling years pose a threat to Nigerian youths’ employment prospects because they must overcome age restrictions to work in several industries, such as banks.
While their peers who attended private institutions graduated on time, served in the National Youth Service, and now hold well-paying jobs in respected companies, they run the risk of not doing so because of age restrictions.
4. Increased financial burden on families
A strike makes things more difficult for parents and students because resources bought for the semester will be wasted while they are on strike.
After a strike, parents will have to hustle for funds to buy school items once again. Students who have parents who are unable to pay for such necessities during resumption suffer throughout the remainder of the semester.
5. Increased insecurity
The phrase “an idle hand is the devil’s workshop” is one example of how society suffers the most from strikes.
Due to protracted strikes, crime rates in society are always on the rise. Some students turn to hazardous social vices such as armed robbery, oil bunkering, prostitution, online fraud, pool betting, etc. because they are losing faith in the educational system.