The Federal Government has announced plans to absorb Nigerians schooling in war-torn Ukraine into Nigerian tertiary institutions.
The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the plan in a statement published on its website on Monday.
The statement, signed by Francisca Omayuli, the ministry’s spokesperson, is titled, ‘The Federal Government of Nigeria Facilitates Admission Into Nigerian Tertiary Institutions for Nigerian Students Affected by the Conflict in Ukraine’.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria wishes to inform Nigerian students who returned from Ukraine, following the conflict in that country, that efforts are being made to facilitate their placement into various Nigerian tertiary institutions to enable them to continue their studies.
“In this connection, interested students should visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and complete the online Nigerian Student in Ukraine (NSU) registration form with the required information on or before July 15, 2022.”
The ICIR reports that the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will disrupt the planned placement if not addressed.
Nigeria has 49 federal, 57 state and 111 private universities, respectively, according to the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC).
ASUU’s strike, which began on February 14 over unmet demands by the government, affects virtually all the federal and state universities.
Efforts by the parties to end the strike have been fruitless, as the industrial action confines thousands of students to their homes for nearly five months. Many students who got admission to run a four-year programmes have ended up spending between six and seven years.
The government and ASUU’s failure to resolve the impasse further worsens the quality of education in the country, the reason many citizens, including those in Ukraine, prefer schooling outside the country.
In addition to the strike and the nation’s poor education system, many Nigerian universities face the challenges of poor infrastructure, insecurity, power and other utilities.
In 2020, ASUU shut down Nigerian universities for nine months because of unmet demands by the government, including funds for revamping dilapidated structures, general infrastructures and moribund research centres among others.
ASUU strike has been a recurring decimal in Nigerian universities for years, with a 2020 report showing how the union had shut down public universities for over four years since 1999.
Multiple reports claim the Nigerian government evacuated about 4,000 Nigerian students following the war between Ukraine and Russia, which began on February 24.