Various blogs and social media users are circulating the claim that President Muahammadu Buhari has approved N456 billion for the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to end its industrial action.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike since February 14, 2022 in protest against failure by the federal government to fulfil various agreements it has had with the union. On May 9, the union announced a 12-week extension to an earlier announced 2-month strike, which was rolled over by a month.
ASUU’s demands include: the renegotiation of the FGN-ASUU 2009 agreement; the deployment of University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which was designed by the union, against the IPPIS; and payment of members’ salaries and arrears owed by the government.
Meanwhile, a couple of days before the latest extension of the strike, reports purportedly claiming that President had approved ₦456 billion to ASUU began to circulate on social media and the internet.
The report reads:
“Finally after 66 days long wait, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N456bn for ASUU with each institution to receive N4.6bn to finalise the 2009 agreement.
Searches conducted by Ripples Nigeria show that the federal government recently approved a fund for TETFund and not ASUU. Major newspapers reported that President Buhari approved the disbursement of the 2022 Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund). TETFund is a scheme of the Federal Government which disburses, manages, and monitors education tax to government-owned tertiary institutions, including universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.
The scheme was set up to address the rot and deterioration in educational infrastructure caused by long periods of neglect and very poor resource allocation.
The approval of the 2022 disbursement was announced by the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arch. Sunday Echono, on May 5, while receiving the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) in Abuja.
Echono assured the vice chancellors of TeTFund’s commitment to sustain the ongoing reforms in the education sector, with increased emphasis on the content of its interventions particularly in the areas of research, ICT and in the areas of encouraging a reading culture in our society through publication of books.
A report by This Day, put the figure of the amount approved at N456 billion, quoting a source within the ASUU leadership.
The fund released was not to ASUU, nor was it approved in order to induce ASUU to suspend its strike. TETFund is disbursed annually to the three tiers of tertiary institutions in the country. It is only coincidental that this year’s was approved while a strike was on. The claim is therefore misleading.
By Oluwatobi Odeyinka…
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