As the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU enters its 32nd day, students have decided to acquire vocational skills to keep themselves busy during the period.
ASUU had embarked on the indefinite strike last month citing the Federal Government’s failure to implement agreements reached with the union.
Some students who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja said they were tired of staying at home.
Martha Adah, a Political Science student with the University of Abuja said she had decided to learn tailoring which she believed would be useful to her in future.
Adah said that from every indication, the ASUU strike might likely take longer than necessary as both parties appeared not to be interested in making compromises.
“Since we cannot tell when the strike will be suspended, I will advise other students not just to sit at home doing nothing, but engage themselves in activities that will benefit them in future.
“There are many skills that one can choose from ranging from fashion design, make-up, shoes making, baking and many more.
“Do not just sit idle at home, engage yourself with something meaningful,’’ she said.
Abbati Ahmed, a Biochemistry student of Kaduna State University, said he got tired of sitting at home and decided to learn how to make shoes.
Ahmed said he had gained a lot since he started learning the trade two weeks ago.
“Even when ASUU calls off the strike, I will be making shoes for other students and be making money from it,’’ he said excitedly.
Ifeanyi Okeakpu , a 300 level Economics student of Benue State University said the lingering strike was unfortunate as both FG and ASUU appeared not to be interested in shifting grounds.
“Not to get frustrated at home, I decided to engage myself in Male fashion designing.
“I am enjoying it so far and I know I would not regret it, knowing that the white collar job will not be there for me after graduation unless I have a connection.
Similarly, Osaji Hope of Ambrose Ali University, Edo State, said she had already started learning bead making and following the trending fashion.
Hope encouraged students to cease the opportunity the strike offered and make something out of life.
Meanwhile the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, on Wednesday night announced that he had taken over negotiations between the Federal Government and the striking university teachers.
In a statement signed by Mr Samuel Olowokere, Director Press in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ngige said this was to avoid “unnecessary meddlesome” and ensure speedy resolution of all issues.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, had been leading the negotiations with ASUU, but Ngige, said that he had taken over the negotiation by the power conferred on him by Section 5 of the Trade Dispute Act.
The minister also condemned the statement made by Femi Falana, (SAN) describing as illegal, the enforcement of Sec. 43.1 of the Trade Dispute Act 2004 on the `No Work No Pay’ provision.
Falana had described the enforcement of the provisions as ‘illegal’ and asked the Federal Government to immediately withdraw the `illegal order’.