The zonal coordinator of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU ), Professor Lawan Abubakar has decried what he termed lack of commitment displayed by the federal government towards the implementation of the 2017 Memorandum of Understanding aimed at persuading the union then to suspend the 2017 industrial action.
Addressing newsmen in Jos after the end of the zonal mobilisation programmes of the zone held at the ASUU Secretariat ,University of Jos Abubakar ,the Bauchi zonal coordinator said one of the serious challenges confronting ASUU in both federal and state universities is the issue of shortfall in salaries.
“ There are some universities which still receive fractional salaries.Their salaries are not paid in full because the government does not send the complete salaries to staff;this has subjected our colleagues to a lot of hardship .
“The ASUU /FGN agreement of 2009 was supposed to be renegotiated six years ago because it was agreed that the document should be renegotiated after every three years as a way of repositioning the Nigerian public universities but again government in its characteristic manner refused to constitute its own team for the renegotiation until June 2017 when the government finally did that. The minster of Education said the renegotiation should be concluded and report submitted within six months.
He also said “currently our salaries are paid to us devoid of the allowances which other public servants enjoy ,a component of the ASUU/FGN 2009 agreement was the allowances attached to our salaries ,what was agreed that the 2018 budget would capture the EAA but government has again reneged ,the sum Z23 billion was released to the universities in 2017 to pay some percentage of the EAA with the understanding that a forensic audit of the released sum would be conducted in six months ,January to June 2018 and that at the conclusion of the audit ,the remaining balance would be paid but as we speak now ,the audit that was supposed to end in June 2018 is still inconclusive .
He added that “ our attention has also been drawn to a story credited to the acting minister of finance of the release of N20billion to ASUU ,this is not true as common sense would not take this since ASUU is not an organ of government
“The financial situation bedeviling the Nigerian university system has continued to remain a pathetic one , the 7 percent of the total budget allocated to the education sector in the 2018 budget by the federal government of Nigeria is to say the least grossly below the UNESCO recommended minimum of 26 percent ,as if this mirage is not bad enough ,state governments across the country are establishing state universities and abandoning them to TEDFUND, the brain child of ASUU as an intervention agency in the funding of education .
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