The Academic Staff Union of Universities has cautioned the Federal Government against non-payment of the N30bn revitalisation fund which it promised universities.
The President of ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Oshodeke, who stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday, said government was in the habit of not fulfilling its promises.
He said he hoped government would release the fund on or before the end of the month as it agreed with the union.
Oshodeke further said that the National Executive Committee of the union would meet early next month to assess the extent government had met its demands.
Although ASUU president did not hint on whether the union would embark on strike or not if its demands were not met, it was learnt that the NEC meeting would discuss all options.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, had on August 2 said the government had paid the N30bn as the university revitalisation fund as contained in the Memorandum of agreement it signed with ASUU in January 21 when the union suspended its nine-month strike.
He, however, said the money was lodged with the Central Bank of Nigeria, pending the conclusion of the audit report of the implementation committee on the use of previous funds disbursed to universities by the ministry of education and the National Universities Commission.
On October 15, Ngige again assured ASUU that government would soon commence the disbursement of the N30bn to public universities.
ASUU had in March 2020 embarked on a strike action following its disagreement with the Federal Government on the funding of the universities, the Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system, earned academic allowances, promotion arrears and renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement.
The Federal Government made IPPIS compulsory for its employees as part of measures to address the issue of ghost workers and other forms of corruption in the civil service.
But ASUU, which kicked against the payment mode on the grounds that it violated university autonomy, came up with the University Transparency Accountability Solution.
Oshodeke, in the interview with The PUNCH correspondent, said lecturers’ struggle for their entitlements from the Federal Government was not yet over.
When asked if peace had returned to campuses, he said “There is no peace because government is not doing what they are supposed to do. When we reach an agreement, they are supposed to get it implemented, but they don’t. They promised end of October, so we are waiting till month’s end.”
Oshodeke maintained that the government was used to signing agreements and not implementing them.
Source: PUNCH NEWS