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ASUU Demands Renegotiation of Agreement With FG

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ASUU Demands Renegotiation of Agreement With FG. The Academic Staff Union of Universities through its President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, has said that the Federal Government failed to implement three areas in the Memorandum of Action it signed with the union on September 14, 2017.

The ASUU President, in an exclusive interview with our correspondent on Monday, identified some of the grey areas as failure on the part of the Federal Government to carry out the Forensic Audit of the earned academic allowances of the lecturers since 2017 and the payment of N20bn out of an agreed N220bn annually.

Ogunyemi said there was a need for the union to renegotiate with the Federal Government in the best interest of the university system, which he described as grossly underfunded.

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He said, “One year after we met with the Federal Government and signed a Memorandum of Action, there are three or four areas that have not been implemented. When we met with the government in September 2017, after the industrial action, a significant part of the MOA was that government would carry out a forensic audit of the earned academic allowances of our members and start to process the payments.

“In spite of the fact that the government promised to complete the audit within a few weeks, it has not been completed till date and the report has not been communicated to us.

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“Although Nigerians read in the newspapers that N20bn was released for the revitalisation of universities recently, we are saying that the money was too little and it came too late. What we agreed on was that the government would release N220bn annually for five years to the universities for their revitalisation. Then the government promised that, to prove its commitment, it would release the sum of N20bn in 2017.

“It fulfilled the promise by releasing exactly that sum of money in September 2018, instead of the N220bn that we agreed on. So, these are the issues on the ground. We want a renegotiation with the government to clear all these grey areas. They are not the best for our university system.”

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had on September 24 announced the release of N20bn to the education sector as a part of the Federal Government’s promise to revitalise the public universities.

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The minister had said the Federal Government would monitor the progress of the implementation of the disbursement with a view to resolving emerging issues and keeping its promises to relevant stakeholders.

But ASUU had noted that the N20bn ought to have come since September 2017 if the government was committed to its agreement to revitalise the university system.

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