ASUU gives ultimatum on cut-backs, says FG now owes N715 billion

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[Adamawa]–The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has directed its members to reject any form of half or fractional payment of salaries and non-release of subvention to State Universities with effect from the end of this Month.

The direction rose from the just concluded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at Moddibo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola on 26th-27th of March.

The President of the union, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi said: “In the event that such shortfall in salaries and non-release of subvention persist, NEC, would reconvene in the earliest possible time to respond appropriately”.

Ogunyemi, lamented in spite of the warning strike embarked upon from Wednesday 16th to Tuesday, 22nd November, 2016 to press for the full implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, among other issues, nothing concrete has been done by the government.

He said since early 2016, ASUU has been complaining on the deliberate cut-back in remittances to Federal and State universities to no avail.

He said it was unfortunate that lecturers are still being paid between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of their monthly salaries in many Federal universities, with the situation in most State-owned universities moved from bad to worse.

He also claimed that the money being owed to universities had accumulated to  N715 billion.

He explained that the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Federal Government in 2013 stipulated that N200 billion would be released in 2013 for massive injection of funds to reposition Nigerian public universities for global competitiveness.

“Thereafter, N220 billion was to be released for subsequent five years; adding up to N1.3 trillion by 2018.

“We wish to state that government has deviated from the spirit and letters of the 2013 MoU.

“As we speak, not a single kobo has been released for 2014, not to talk of 2015 and 2016.

“If we add the amount owed for the first quarter of 2017, it shows that the total outstanding amount for Needs Assessment Intervention Fund amount to about N715 billion,” he said.

The union have also demanded the immediate payment of their Earned Academic Allowance, which Ogunyemi disclosed is now to the tune of over N128 billion owed to them by the government.

Ogunyemi further threatened that the lecturers would be compelled to mobilise Nigerians against the government if nothing was done to address the demands of the union.

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