The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused the government of President Mohammadu Buhari of abandoning the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, the union's President maintained that only N50 billion has been released by the current administration to the union out of the N1.3 trillion revitalisation fund agreement signed by the Federal Government in 2013.
Osodeke noted that the previous government had released an initial part payment of N200 billion to public universities.
The union's President in a signed document obtained by newsmen highlighted the demands and events of ASUU after the recently suspended strike.
The ASUU boss said: "The Goodluck Jonathan government was initially hesitant to implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement about the revitalisation of government-owned universities.
“However, the Federal Government eventually set up a committee on the needs assessment of public universities in 2012.
“The committee recommended an immediate and massive injection of N1.3 trillion to arrest and address the rot and decay in the institutions.
“This gave rise to the FGN-ASUU’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of November 6, 2013. The MoU has since been jettisoned as could be seen: for 2013, N200 billion was released; in 2014, N220 billion, not released; in 2015, N220 billion, not released; 2016, N220 billion, not released; 2017 N220, not released; 2018 N220 billion, not released.
“Sadly, apart from the first tranche of 200 bn released and ring-fenced in 2013, only a paltry sum of N50bn has been released to date by the government.
“ASUU’s consistent efforts to make the government fully implement the 2009 Agreement as well as the 2013 MoU are at the roots of the union’s agitations and strikes in the last 10 years.
“More specifically, FGN’s failures to work with the understandings reached at meetings and faithfully implement the terms of agreement of the various memoranda led to the nationwide strike declared by the union in March 2020. The strike was suspended with an FGN-ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) of December 23, 2020.”
Despite the Federal Government setting aside N470 billion in the 2023 budget to address some of the demands of tertiary education staff unions, including ASUU, ASUU has stated that this amount is insufficient to address the issues facing the system.
Additionally, President Buhari has reportedly instructed the Minister of Education and other government officials not to enter into any agreements with staff unions that the government will be unable to implement.
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