The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called out the Federal Government over what it describes as a total disregard to the education system in Nigeria.
According to the ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, the FG is yet to address most of the issues from the union’s recent strike.
ASUU had late last year called off an eight-month strike after a series of negotiations with the Federal Government. Part of the lecturers’ demands is the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
But months after the development, the union said the government is yet to address most of its demands including the payment of salary backlogs.
“As far as this present government is concerned, once the strike is over, the issue is resolved unknown to them that a strike is a symptom of a problem. They have abandoned the problem. Since we called off the strike based on a court directive, not a single meeting has been called. Not a kobo has been paid,” he said during a programme on Channels Television on Thursday.
According to him, the union members are battling to meet up with the academic calendar in spite of the government’s posture.
“It is so unfortunate that they don’t have any regard for the Nigerian education system,” Osodeke added.
Meanwhile, the ASUU chief also spoke about the recently approved N320.3 billion 2023 intervention for public tertiary institutions. He commended the government for the fund release and asked for redistribution of the fund to ensure 90% goes to the tertiary institutions.
“It (N320bn fund) is a good development, this is part of what we struggle for in 1994, it is our struggle, but there are issues we need to sort out,” the ASUU President said.
When you check the allocation of about N1.2 billion to universities and others, you find out that the total for all the universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education come to just about N186 billion allocated out of about N320, leaving a balance of N132 billion that has not been accounted for. What are we using that N132 billion which is 41% of the total amount of money? Is it for bureaucracy or for what?
“This is what has been happening in TETFund and I think there is a need to examine what exactly is happening at TETFund. The idea of this TETFund when it was negotiated by ASUU was that this money will come and be distributed to the universities, not keeping 41% for whatever purpose.
“I think we need a redistribution of this fund to ensure that it accounts for 90% of what has been approved to go to universities, polytechnic and not kept as bureaucracy or whatever. You need to tell the public what TETFund is doing with the balance of N132 billion,” the ASUU President said.