By Ibukun Emiola
Ibadan, Jan. 20, 2018, (NAN) The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says government must show proof of payment of at least N50 billion revitalisation funds for it to consider suspending the on-going strike.
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, made this known to newsmen on Sunday in Ibadan ahead the union’s meeting with the Federal Government on Monday.
Ogunyemi added that ASUU had said only concrete evidence of implementation by the government would make it’s members return to the classrooms.
He said ASUU had rejected government’s proposal to pay N20 billion in two tranches on the revitalisation of universities and asked government to mainstream the earned academic allowances into the 2019 budget before National Assembly.
He lamented that ”the Nigeria’s ruling class does not see education as a priority but prefer to create new education colonies of private educational institutions which cannot meet the needs of the Nigerian children.
”We want them to pay immediately N50 billion as a sign of commitment this quarter and for the next three quarters government can pay N50 billion in each quarter.
“So, our members have rejected the N20 billion proposed by the government, which it promised to spread over two quarters in 2019.
”Our members have insisted on the release of at least N50 billion in relation to earned academic allowances which the government has an outstanding of N105 billion.
”Our members are saying that even if the government` is releasing N20 billion, let it be stated clearly that it is only for ASUU members.
”And the balance which you promised to pay in four instalments, attach timelines to the balance and figures.
”In 2017, this government promised to mainstream the earned academic allowances into the budget so that we won’t be coming to talk about arrears.
”If government had done that and included it into the 2018 Budget we would not be talking about arrears now.
”Our members are saying government should take steps to mainstream it into the 2019 budget and that is not late because the National Assembly and executives are still working on the budget,” Ogunyemi said. (NAN)
Edited by Fela Fashoro/Wale Ojetimi