The Federal Government has said that the nation will shut down if all the demands by striking university lecturers were to be met.
Information Minister Labaran Maku stated this in Abuja yesterday while addressing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
He was specifically reacting to why the government was yet to reach a compromise with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) amidst its claim of spending huge resources on the development of tertiary education in the country.
Maku appealed to the ASUU to have a rethink on its demands and understand that there were many competing demands from other sectors.
He said the huge funds spent to restore normalcy in some hitherto crisis-torn parts of the North could have been used to develop the educational sector.
“If we say we will not work until every particular problem we face in this country is resolved, then, I am sure there is no sector that will work. If we all insist that every sector’s problem must be completely solved, that we will down tools and that we will not work, then, the country will stop working,” he said.
“We are partners of the ASUU. We are friends. They are our patriots, and we understand the critical role that the universities teachers are playing in creating a new society that we are hoping to have. But at the same time, this is a reality question that we need to look at and we have to put the nation first.
“I know that all of us desire more from the system, but the truth is that there are limitations and from the limitations we have, we believe that the ASUU really needs to do rethink and ensure that we reopen our universities because really, we are feeling the pain of our children being at home and this, indeed, is completely avoidable,” Maku said.