– AS STUDENTS TAKE TO ARTISANSHIP AND TRADING
THE ongoing strike embarked upon by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is nine weeks old, and as it is, the lecturers and their employers, the Federal Government of Nigeria, who is yet to meet their demands may not shift grounds soon.
The nationwide strike followed Federal Government’s failure to honour what is termed as The Academic Earned Allowance (AEA) which formed a component of the 2009 agreement government signed with the union. The lecturers said they won’t return to the classrooms until the agreement with the Federal Government is implemented in full. The implementation, however, according to Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance will cost the government about N90 billion.
When two elephants fight, the grass suffers. The grass here are the students who stay at home and because of the realities on ground some of them have taken up activities to engage their time while the strike lasts. ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke to some students who narrated what they do now to buy time till the strike ends.
AFOLABI AKANDE, Ogun State Universities
I am a 300 level, Computer Engineering student at OSU. Ever since the strike, me and my friends decided to start selling laptops, computer parts, electronics and all that. The business is making small profit but I still prefer the strike to be over so I can get back to school. The strike has been on for too long.
ANUOLUWA OLAWALE, Lagos State University
I am a student of Lagos State University, studying Hotel Management. I am in 300 level right now. Being at home has not really helped matters at all. The whole of the time for academic activities is being wasted. Not that I am not really doing anything. Of course, helping my mom to take care of her shop.
Also, I had worked briefly with Dansaky Hotel after my internship. The experience was lovely. I really enjoyed it, but not as going back to school for my academic work. The thing is becoming boring and annoying. We just have to go back to school. ASUU and federal government need to come to a reasonable conclusion in the interest of the students and our parents.
RONKE OYEWOLE, University of Ibadan
I have engaged myself with modeling and ushering jobs on weekends and bead making during week days. I am tired of staying at home.
JIMON OLOWO, Lagos State University
I have the privilege that my father owns a bakery. So I help out in the bakery and collect allowance.
OLABISI FADIPE, University of Ibadan
I am a 200 level student of Aqua-Culture and Fisheries Management at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. This is our third month at home due to the strike and because of this, my mom has told me to start fashion designing lessons. I have already enrolled at a school which is now keeping me busy.
I now realized learning a trade cannot stop you from going to school. The fashion training will be added advantage for me when I graduate.
ADEBIMPE MOJISOLA, Lagos State University
Thanks to the ASUU strike, I have been developing myself in my admired profession, Events Planning and Decoration. I took a one month crash course, and now I work with a family friend as an event coordinator.
ELIZABETH AHODIPE, University of Lagos
It’s quite tiring, you have nothing to do than just to sleep and eat. One gets lazy. You are not sure when they will call off the strike. I just have to acquire some skills in baking.
FUNKE OJO, University of Lagos
I do little business, I sell clothes and shoes because I can’t stay at home not doing something. I make little profit and I am happy for not wasting my time.
OGULEWE UCHECHUKWU PAUL, UNIZIK
During the Asuu strike, I’ve been into modeling. I participated actively in the Lagos fashion meniac which was organized last month by Royhills Fashion House. Right now, I’m looking forward to the upcoming fashion show organized by Purple Creations called ‘Purple Fashion Show’ where the face of purple will be picked. Finally, I’m patiently waiting for the strike to be called off.
CHIDIOGO BRIGHT, University of Nigeria
The ASUU strike has been on for months now. And it has not been easy for us. Right now, I’m doing small business. I sell phones and accessories. I pray the strike would be called off this month, so we can graduate. This is my final year.
ABIMBOLA SALAMI, University of Port Harcourt
The strike action embarked upon by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is really telling on us. I now help my dad in his workshop. I still do some jobs in my area of study which is Geology. I’m in my third year. I pray they call of the strike soon.
TOLULOPE ARIYO, University of Lagos
I am in my third year studying Economics at the University of Lagos. I started ICAN class two weeks ago. This was the idea of my dad who felt I am just staying at home doing nothing. Apart from that, I do make up training on a part time basis since I was in my second year in the university. The makeup training and the ICAN class engage my time while the strike lasts.
Even when the strike is called off I will still continue my ICAN class because I want to write their exams and become a chartered accountant.