In a new report, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has accused the federal government of misleading the public with false information about funds released to the union.
While speaking to newsmen, the national president of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi revealed that the strike still persists because there is still disagreement between the Federal Government and the union on the mode of releasing the agreed funds.
Professor Ogunyemi explained that the statement which was released by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige that N163 billion was released to the Union Is untrue and merely a manipulation of facts.
He further disclosed that the N163 billion which Ngige claimed was released to the Universities by the Federal Government was in fact released by the Tertiary Education Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, to meet specific needs in the Universities and that the Union is still waiting for the government to release the promised revitalization fund.
Below is an extract of Professor Ogunyemi’s statement;
“The Minister of Labour referred to the release of N163bn which was not released by the Ministry of Education for revitalization. That fund he alluded to was from TETFUND.
“TETFUND was there when we carried out the NEEDS Assessment in 2012. What we called Revitalisation Fund today is a product of that exercise of 2012. We have always drawn a line of distinction between what TETFUND gives and what we should access from the NEEDS Assessment Fund. They are different terms of interventions that should not be equated to one.
“TETFUND as an intervention agency is ASUU brainchild which became a reality. The funds from the NEEDS Assessment is to fix specific items of deficiency in our system.
“Unfortunately, both federal and state governments have now relinquished their responsibilities to TETFUND. The Federal Government budget for education in term of capital project funding is worrisome.
“That is why we keep saying that the Ministry of Labour and Employment should stop saying N163bn has been released to ASUU. ASUU is not a spending agency of government. We don’t spend government money. When money is released, it goes to the universities and governing councils who are representatives of the government in the schools. It is a distortion if we say N163bn was released to ASUU.”