The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday Monday 15/08/2016, expressed disappointment with the Federal Government for allegedly violating the agreements both parties reached in 2009 and warned that its members were running out of patience. The union said Nigerian universities “are sinking in serious financial crisis, with budgetary allocation to education sector dropping from 11 percent in 2015 to a mere 8 percent in 2016.”
Addressing newsmen in Ikeja, Lagos, ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi described the current state of the nation as grave and depressing, and called for urgent efforts to rescue the situation. He accused the federal government of owing the union over N128 billion almost three years after signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2009.
Ogunyemi said government’s reluctance to implement the regime of allowances and other aspects of the 2009 agreement has provoked relentless agitation and called for decisive steps to douse the mounting tension in universities across the nation.
“Out of the
disbursed in 2013, only about N13 billion went into part settlement of the
claims of academic staff in the universities, leaving behind a huge amount to
be settled by government. The inability of the government to honour and fully
implement these aspects of the 2013 MoU is generating unprecedented level of
agitations on our campuses,” he said.
“Our members are running out of patience. If their patience gets to the boiling point and they can no longer contain that, they will tell us what to do,” he added.
The ASUU president also decried the infrastructure decay in state universities in the country, which he said was part of the issues addressed in the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement. He said some state governments that failed to fulfill their obligations towards existing universities went ahead to establish new ones. Citing Edo, Ondo and Bayelsa states, as examples, he noted that one common thread in the so called world-class universities was their location in communities where the founding governors came from.