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N470bn allocation not enough to solve varsities’ problems -ASUU, CONUA tell FG

N470bn allocation not enough to solve varsities’ problems -ASUU, CONUA tell FG

The Federal Government’s N470 billion budget allocation for the next year, according to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Congress of University Academics (CONUA), is insufficient to address the issues facing the nation’s public universities.

Collective bargaining, which would result in an agreement that would be strictly implemented by the parties involved, is what the academics claim can be helpful.

The unions responded to the president’s remarks at the Obafemi Awolowo University convocation in Ile Ife, Osun State, where he indicated that the money had been included in the budget for the following year and that it would hopefully put an end to strikes in public universities.

Dr. Abiodun Saliu, Director of Academic Planning for the National Universities Commission, was in attendance to represent him.

Even if this sum were released, according to Dr. Niyi Sunmonu, National Coordinator of CONUA, it would only be a temporary solution.

Read Also: ASUU Says Union Not Embarking On Another Strike Action

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“The issues we are taking about are in two main categories – welfare and funding cum provision of facilities. Welfare has to do with salaries, allowances, etc. Funding has to do with the provision of modern facilities to make our universities be at par with their counterparts globally. But I don’t know in what context the President spoke.

“If it has to do with the provision of facilities, then that amount would just be a mere flash in the pan. Let them release it, if it is for upgrading facilities, though it is not significant, we will be able to see what is next to tackle in that aspect,” he stated

ASUU Chairman, University of Ilorin, Prof. Moyosore Ajao, noted that government seems to relish in banding figures all about.

On why universities lecturers have not gone on strike over their eight months withheld salaries, Sunmonu said CONUA opted for the legal action to test the provisions of the Trade Dispute Act in court.

Recall that public universities were shut for months due to the strike by lecturers and non-academic staff.

The government has refused to pay the lecturers eight months salaries spanning the period they did not work, while non-teaching staff have five months salaries being withheld.

N470bn allocation not enough to solve varsities’ problems -ASUU, CONUA tell FG

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