ASUU Update vangurad

FG not ready to end strike – ASUU
on august 23, 2013 at 7:00 am in news
By DAYO ADESULU & LAJU ARENYEKA
LAGOS— After 10 unsuccessful meetings with the
Federal Government, the Academic Staff Union of
Universities, ASUU, yesterday said government was not
ready to end the 8-week-old strike, lamenting that
government displayed dishonesty and lack of integrity
during negotiations.
At a briefing in Lagos, ASUU’s President, Dr. Isa Faggae,
claimed that government had declared it would not
implement the agreed injection of funds to revitalise
the public universities, but was only making a dubious
statement of supporting some universities with N100
billion.
He said: “Government had also declared that it will not
pay university academics their earned allowances
which accumulated from 2009 to 2013. Rather, it is
talking about providing N30 billion to assist various
Governing Councils of Federal Universities to defray the
arrears of N92 billion owed to all categories of staff in
the university system.”
Narrating the union’s experience at the last meeting
with the Government held on Monday, Faggae said:
ASUU was shocked by the level of deceit, dishonesty,
and lack of integrity displayed by the Government.
Never in the history of ASUU-Government relations
have we, as a union, ever experienced the kind of
volte-face exhibited by Government. At one stage in
the interaction, the Secretary to the Government
Federation ridiculed the agreement, the MoU and the
Needs Assessment Report, mocking the Minister of
Education to “go and give them N400 billion,” at which
members of the government scornfully laughed.”
He argued that the Governor Gabriel Suswam-led
Implementation Committee was being used as
smokescreen to “deceive ASUU, Nigerian students and
their parents, as well as other unsuspecting members
of the public on the purportedly released N100 billion
for the implementation of the Needs Assessment
Report.
First, he said, government plans to divert the regular
yearly allocations to universities by Tertiary Education
Trust, TETFund, to make at least 70% of the N100
billion. This is unacceptable to ASUU. It is like robbing
Peter to pay Paul, since the idea of revitalization took
full cognizance of the intervention role TETFund ab-
initio.
“Again, contrary to subsisting operational procedures,
about 75% of the money meant for revitalizing
universities would not be released to them as the
Suswam Committee plans to hand over construction of
the hostel projects to the Federal Ministry of Education
and/or the National Universities Commission, for
implementation. This is illegal; neither the ministry nor
NUC is backed by laws of Nigerian Public Universities to
divert monies meant for the development of these
institutions into centrally executed projects.”
Dr. Faggae questioned the committee’s motives for
proposing to commit N1.6 million to a bed space,
instead of N200, 000 to N400, 000, saying, “We see a
continuation of outrageous contract regimes in the
plan to centrally coordinate the construction of student
hostels as done in the case of the 12 newly established
Federal Universities with TETFund resources. The NUC
has transmuted itself into a “Tenders’ board” which
awarded contracts for the construction of 560 bed
spaces hostel for each university at a whooping sum of
1.2 bn. This contract sum translates into N2.143 million
per bed space.”

Team Napres 2013

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