The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called for immediate release of N495 billion revitalisation funds for universities.
The union also wants the 2009 ASUU/Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of 2013 implemented to the letter.
Briefing reporters yesterday in Calabar, ASUU Zonal Coordinator, Professor Nsing Ogar, represented by University of Calabar chairperson, Dr. Tony Eyang, said: “ASUU can no longer guarantee industrial peace on our campuses, as academic staff thinks the government has taken them for a ride.
“You would recall that for six months in 2013, ASUU waged a struggle for the revitalisation of our universities through the implementation of the 2009 agreement. It is indeed depressing that there has been no indication of seriousness on the part of the Federal Government to honour the MOU reached in November 2013 as a roadmap to the implementation of that agreement.
“This is, in spite of the understanding demonstrated by the union, which in our opinion, has been taken for granted. For instance, the funds for the revitalisation of universities have not been released for some time now contrary to the agreement, thus piling the arrears to N495b.”
ASUU decried payment of salaries in fractions in federal universities since December 2015 and other knotty issues, noting that government had failed to keep to its promise.
Meanwhile, the Benin Zone of the union yesterday urged the government to exclude the university system from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) arrangement, saying it was hampering the smooth administration of the institutions. It threatened industrial crisis in the event of inaction.
Addressing a press conference in Benin city, Zonal Coordinator in charge of universities in Edo, Delta and Ondo states, Prof. Anthony Monye-Emina, said the crisis was looming in the university system, with regards to poor funding, particularly the introduction of TSA, which he noted, poses a serious setback for development.
Monye-Emina bemoaned that the institutions were already overburdened by a shortfall in subventions for salary and other overheads.
“Sabbaticals are no longer possible because the universities can not pay. External examinations and assessments are increasingly becoming difficult because arrears of unpaid allowances for these essential services have accumulated.”