Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has insisted that until certain conditions are met by the Federal Government, its members will not return to work.

A key condition, according to the striking lecturers, is that government must show concrete evidence of the payment of at least N50 billion revitalisation fund.

Another condition attached to the suspension of the strike is “the presentation of concrete evidences of the payment of the promised N20 billion earned academic allowances and showing how the balance of N85 billion will be paid with timelines”.

ASUU President Prof Biodun Ogunyemi spoke with reporters in Ibadan, Oyo State ahead of today’s meeting between the union and government’s team.

Ogunyemi added that the union’s members have said that only concrete implementation of conditions by the government would make them return to the classrooms.

The union also said it has lost confidence in government making promises, which it would not keep to after agreements have been reached.

ASUU, according to Ogunyemi, has rejected government’s proposal of N20 billion (to be paid in two tranches) for the revitalisation of universities.

The union is asking government to mainstream the earned academic allowances into the 2019 budget, which is still being worked on by the National Assembly.

He lamented that the ruling class did not see education as a priority but prefer to create new education colonies of private educational institutions, which, according to him, cannot meet the needs of Nigerian children.

Ogunyemi said: “We want them to pay immediately N50 billion as a sign of commitment this quarter and for the next three quarters government can pay N50 billion in each quarter.

“Some of our members have rejected the N20 billion proposed by them that will be spread over two quarters in 2019. Our members have insisted on the release of at least N50 billion.

“In relation to earned academic allowances, which they have an outstanding N105 billion, our members are saying that even if you (government) are releasing N20 billion, let it be stated clearly that it is only for ASUU members and the balance, which you promised to pay in four instalments, attach timelines to the balance and figures.

“In 2017, this government promised to mainstream the earned academic allowances into the budget so that we won’t be coming to talk about arrears. If government had put that into the 2018 budget, we would not be talking about arrears now.

“Our members are saying government should take steps to mainstream it into the 2019 budget and that is not late because they (National Assembly and executive) are still working on the budget.”

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