ASUU: FG Owing Nigerian Varsities N500bn Infrastructure Fund

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  • NDU lecturers suspend 4-month strike

Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Wednesday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, demanded the full release of the N495bn, being the funds needed to revamp the country’s universities as contained in the agreement entered into with the federal government seven years ago.

The organisation noted that the government, through its technical committee, which reviewed downwards ASUU’s N1.5trn estimate needed to lift the tertiary institutions from their current rot, to about N800bn, had consistently reneged on the agreement.

ASUU’s Zonal Coordinator, Prof Beke Sese, told journalists during a press briefing in the Bayelsa state capital, that aside from the initial tranche that was eventually released in 2013, the government has refused to credit a dedicated account which the Central Bank of Nigeria set up for that purpose.

Wednesday’s ASUU’s interaction with the press also coincided with the suspension of a four-month sit-at-home embarked upon by the lecturers at the state-owned Niger Delta University over unpaid salaries .

However, the state government after reaching an agreement with the NDU branch of the academic union to pay two months of the owed salaries, convinced them of the need to end the strike and return to the classrooms.

Prof Sese, who was flanked by the chapter heads in the Port Harcourt zone, including Dr Stanley Ogoun, the NDU branch chair, also bemoaned the non-payment of the university lecturers’ Earned Academic Allowances, staff salaries, as well as the arbitrary removal and appointment of Vice Chancellors in federal institutions and the introduction of the Treasury Single Account into the university system.