The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has urged the Federal Government to do everything possible to end the industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Mr Olumide Akpata, the President of the association, made the call during a press conference as part of the activities of the association’s two-day Legal Education Summit in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The summit in collaboration with Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) with the theme: “Reimagining Legal Education in Nigeria” would hold between Tuesday March 29 and Wednesday March 30.
Akpata said it was high time government at all levels got serious with running of education system in Nigeria, especially from budgetary allocation.
“Our government should stop paying lip service to the issue of strike. Government needs to get serious about how it wants to run education in Nigeria right from budgetary allocation.
“You can’t overemphasize how important the education is in the life of any person. It is easy to ask teachers to go back to work, but how do you do the right thing to motivate them?
“Education at all levels must get the seriousness it deserves. Let the government fulfil its own side of the pact. Education is too important to be left to politicking and grandstanding.
“Government should quickly do what is necessary to open our schools for normal activities.
“Strike and school closure is becoming a tragicomedy, it has reoccurred over and over again.
With time, the brand “Nigerian trained” may become an albatross, because employers will start asking how you were trained.
“So, It is important for government to resolve the issue if they think education of the Nigerian children is still important”.
Akpata said the Summit was conceptualised to intervene in the legal education and fashion out policies that could inject sound legal education in the country.
“In this Summit, we are going to be looking at our curriculum.
“The curriculum that I encountered over 30 years ago is still the one in operation. We will also look at technology.
“Technology has taken over the law practice. We are also looking at our teaching methodology, quality assurance, and the issue of the decentralisation of the Nigerian Law School,” he said.
Akpata, who also decried how the National Assembly had allegedly politicised the establishment of additional law school campuses in the country, said, “the existing law schools are grossly underfunded”.
According to him, it has one of the worst budgetary provisions in recent times.
“Presently, the School has six campuses. It is pitiable seeing the conditions of the six campuses.
“It is like somebody trying to play game while trying to set up another six when the existing ones are underfunded with some lawmakers trying to locate in their constituencies.
“It is wrong for anyone to politicise the establishment of law school, because it is too important to be seen as constituency project”, he said.
The Chairman of the 2022 Summit Planning Committee and ABUAD Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Damilola Olawuyi, in his remarks, said the summit was geared towards resetting the system.
Olawuyi noted that policy makers in Nigeria had come to the realization that the legal education system had declined geometrically.
He disclosed that Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo was expected to declare open the summit and doubled as one of the discussants at the event.
He listed other discussants to include Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Prof Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, and Chief Afe Babala (SAN).
Others are; the Chairman, Nigerian Council of Legal Education, Chief Emeka Ngige, Director General, Nigeria Law School, Prof Isa Hayatu Ciroma and heads of various universities across the country.