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Prof. Tam David-West, the former Minister of Petroleum, said there were “more thieves in the Nigerian government than saints”. David-West made the observation while speaking at a town hall meeting organised by the University of Ibadan chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
He spoke thus: “Any government that fails to invest in education is a vagabond government. The problem with Nigeria is that we have more thieves than saints in government.
“We drill over two million barrels of crude oil per day. Why should we be poor? ASUU is saying, ‘Put money in education to improve education quality for our children and those yet unborn’.
“The same government that does not have money for education budgeted N1bn each to feed the President and Vice-President for a year. Are they eating rock in Aso Rock?
“It is not having university degree that makes you a good leader. Late President Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan are the first set with university degrees — but that has not translated to significant changes. Churchill was not the best in his class but one of the best world leaders.”
He said there was no justification for any lawmaker to earn more than a university professor.
“They spend less time and may not even have five credits, yet a Senator in Nigeria earns more than 10 professors. A Senator in Nigeria can pay President Obama’s salary four times over. When people get to the top they become insane,” he noted.
Other speakers at the event were the National Treasurer of ASUU, Dr. Ademola Aremu; state Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Dr. Bashir Olanrewaju; ASUU Chairman, UI, Dr. Segun Ajiboye; Dr. Biodun Badmus, Mashood Erubami, Abiodun Aremu and Femi Aborishade.