United States has expressed worry over the lingering feud between the Federal Government and the striking public universities’ lecturers over their demand for better working conditions.
The US also warned against the activities of touts who deceive intending students from Nigeria.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday in Abuja, the US Embassy Cultural Affairs Officer, Bill Strassberger, urged the government to resolve the crisis with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, saying “it is a fear, it is a worry for us.”
Nigeria currently has about 7,028 students studying at over 700 institutions in the USA.
He said, “That is something for the Nigerian government. It is up to it to work it out with the striking lecturers.
“We are not involved in that negotiation but we can encourage. It is a fear, it is a worry for us because that would make it hard for the students to come.
“It may be difficult, but there is no magic wand to resolve the strike,” Strassberger added.
Advising Nigerians to shun those who parade themselves as agents, Strassberger said accurate information regarding studying in the US could be obtained from the embassy.
“Those are the touts, those are the people that I will even call criminals because they are stealing opportunities by selling only documents by giving bad information and creating a disappointment when the person comes in with that information or with only document. And that is the result of not getting accurate information,” he said.
Earlier, the Head, EducationUSA, Jennifer Onyukwu, said the ASUU’s strike would affect intending students from Nigeria who wish to study in the US because of the need to obtain their transcripts.
“There is that concern because generally, the world has become a global village, people want stronger applicants in their campuses; so they want stronger senders,” she said.
Onyukwu revealed that from statistics, Nigeria was US’s largest sender of students from sub-saharan Africa to the US.