*Mobilises for nationwide industrial action
Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has demanded for N1.1trillion as outstanding funding requirements for revitalisation of Nigerian universities.
It has also denied the report that the federal government has released N20 billion to it, describing it as true.
This is even as the union has disclosed that it is mobilising for a nation-wide strike, citing federal government’s inability to fulfil its side of agreement the union reached with it.
The Bauchi Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Prof. Lawan Abubakar disclosed this at a press briefing at the University of Jos, Plateau State.
According to him, the decision was reached after the ASUU National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the University of Calabar between 5th and 6th August, 2018, where a retinue of issues bordering on the implementation of the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement, specifically, re-negotiation, universities funding and non-release of over N1 trillion arrears funding for revitalisation, payment of arrears of shortfall in salaries and its stoppage, issuance of operating licenses to NUPEMCO among other issues.
He said, “ASUU is shocked at the lack of commitment displayed by government of the day towards the implementation of the 2017 Memorandum of Action (MoA) aimed at persuading the union to suspend the 2017 industrial action.”
He added that the meeting broke since May 2018 because of the deliberate tactics adopted by the leader of government team Wale Babalakin to frustrate the meeting as he was rooting for funding of education via diverse sources with the proposal for the establishment of Education Bank and students loan scheme. This, according to him, is a deliberate effort to commercialize public universities to thrive and untimely deny the children of poor Nigerians, access to university education.
Abubakar called upon the public to join ASUU in imparting pressure on the government to live up to its national responsibility by honoring the agreement, the MoUs, the roadmap and the MoA it willingly and freely entered with ASUU, adding, “we have a moral responsibility to ensure that tertiary education is not killed in Nigeria by unpatriotic power drunk government functionaries whose interest is anywhere but Nigeria”