The Nigerian Government has breached a section of an agreement it signed last year to end a five-month old strike by university lecturers on December 17, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has alleged.
Specifically, the academic union, through its National Treasurer, Dr. Ademola Aremu, lamented that the Federal Government was yet to honour the agreement that N20 billion would be released at the beginning of each quarter to meet identified needs in the universities.
Aremu, during a chat with newsmen at the Post Graduate Hall, University of Ibadan, weekend, said: “This is February and the government is yet to release the money for the quarter.”
He stressed that the call was necessary to avoid the embarrassment that the last strike caused the nation.
His words: “All the strike ASUU had embarked upon in this country were basically because the Federal Government failed to honour agreements freely entered with us.
“It is also sad that each time before we begin the strike, we would give the government enough warnings and grace to make them retrace their steps. But they always fail.
“We don’t know why the government is always unwilling to implement the documents signed by their representatives. However, we will continue to fight for the system because if the system collapses, we will collapse with it.”
Earlier, the ASUU chairman at the University of Ibadan, Olusegun Ajiboye, said it was unfortunate that successive governments in Nigeria don’t learn from history as they always wait till major standoff with their members before doing the needful.
He expressed appreciation to the Nigerian media for standing by ASUU during the struggle, adding that the support was not really for the members, but for a better Nigeria.
He, however, said the struggles was not over yet, saying journalists must see it as duty to monitor proper disbursement of monies promised to be injected into the university system.
“You must ensure that every money is used for the purpose it is meant for.You must also challenge us to justify the fruit of the fight. When we are going astray, please do not keep quiet. That is your mandate as the fourth estate of the realm,” he said.
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