The striking university lectures under the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Sunday said news and speculations going round that a sum of N163bn had been released by the Federal government to the union was false.
A statement released by the Ibadan Zonal Coordinator of the union, Dr. Ade Adejumo, titled, ‘Re: N163bn released to ASUU: Putting the record straight,’ said that the public should not be misguided by the false information.
He explained that only the council and university administration receive funds disbursed to ASUU while the union does not receive nor spend funds coming into the university.
He called on vice chancellors of universities to team up with ASUU to ensure the ongoing fracas with the federal government was settled.
The statement reads in part, “The government and all civilised individuals are aware of how the university is managed, so also the resources available to it. The government knows that it is the council and the university administration that receive and spend all the money coming into the university. ASUU doesn’t receive money from government and doesn’t spend it.
“Even money meant for our salaries and other allowances come directly to the university administration which prepares the budget and manages it. ASUU members collect only their salaries as paid by the university. Contracts and all the capital projects are awarded by the councils that are appointed by the government, not ASUU.
“It is in the context of the above that our union calls on the vice-chancellors and council chairmen to stop behaving like vultures that wait silently by the sidelines, waiting for the game to fall only to descend on the carcass.
“They should join forces with ASUU in its struggles to attract requisite funding into our public universities rather than working at cross purposes with us. Part of the least expected from them is to come out openly to put the record straight each time the government comes out with the deliberate falsehood that money has been released to ASUU.”
Speaking earlier, the President of the union, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, maintained that a statement by the Minister for Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu that the said amount had been released to the union to suspend its about three month old strike was misleading.
Ogunyemi who spoke during the meeting with the Nigeria Labour Congress in Abuja said the Minister could probably be referring to funds from TETFUND.
He added, “The minister referred to the release of N163bn but that was not released by the Ministry of Education to revitalisation. That fund he alluded to was from TETFUND. TETFUND was there when we carried out the NEEDS Assessment in 2012. What we called Revitalisation Fund today is a product of that exercise of 2012. We have always drawn a line of distinction between what TETFUND gives and what we should access from the NEEDS Assessment Fund.
“They are different terms of intervention that should not be equated to one. TETFUND as an intervention agent is ASUU’s brainchild which became a reality. The funds from NEEDS Assessment is to fix specific items of deficiency in our system. Both Federal and state governments have now relinquished their responsibilities to TETFUND, they now hold on to it.”
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