The long-standing issue between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU seems not to be having any headway anytime soon as the Ebonyi State Chairman of the association,Ikechukwu Igwenyi has stated that the 1 Trillion Naira demands of ASUU is not enough to meet the demands of the striking lecturers.
Speaking with regards to the 2009 University revitalisation agreement between ASUU and the FG, the Acting chairman opined that with the current exchange rate, ASUU demands can’t be met with 1 Trillion Naira any longer.
Igwenyi, who criticized politicians’ responses to the body’s requests in a press statement issued in Abakaliki, claimed that ASUU should be discussing N5 trillion rather than the N1 trillion it had previously agreed on with the government. He said” …rather than calling for a review of the renegotiated agreement in the context of the current economic realities of dollar to naira ratio, they are asking for the release of funds negotiated in 2009, when a dollar was less than one hundred and fifty naira (₦150) as compared to present day reality rating of dollar to naira ratio of about seven hundred naira (₦700)“
“This implies that ASUU should be asking for about five trillion naira (₦5 tr) for the revitalization of public Universities in this current and prevailing economic dispensation. The about ₦1.1tr outstanding revitalization fund cannot achieve the same objectives as prices of items like cement, rods, wood for furniture, reagents and chemicals, equipment and stationeries, books and subscriptions, utility vehicles, fuel for generators and other consumables are no longer in tandem with the economic equivalents of same items 13 years ago“
Igwenyi further added that “ASUU will not back down until the demands of the union are sufficiently met because it is ASUU members that plough the prairies, build the nations through intellectual and knowledge transfer and emancipate the people from mental slavery.”
ASUU has been on strike since 14th February 2022 over a myriad of issues in contention with the Federal government some of which include payment platforms and models for lecturers (UTAS/IPPIS), payment of outstanding arrears and salaries, and 2009 revitalisation agreement amongst others.