THE federal government on Tuesday revealed that disbursement of funds to universities in line with its 2020 Agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is underway. This is in response to ASUU’s threat on Monday that it is in the process of resuming its suspended 9-month strike claiming that the government has reneged on the agreement it had with government last December.
Labour and Employment Minister, Dr Chris Ngige, made the revelation on Tuesday on Channel TV’s programme, ‘Politics Today,’ anchored by Seun Okinbaloye.
Dr Ngige said the Ministry of Finance and National Planning will commence the disbursement of funds to universities on Wednesday, although it was not clear which Wednesday he was referring to but National Record believes it is this week’s (today). He assured that ASUU will not go on the planned strike.
According to the Minister, the government has made the payment of the first tranche of its commitment in January and is set to pay another N22.72 billion on earned allowances. He added that the N30 billion revitalisation fund is already in the account of the National University Commission (NUC) ready for disbursement to universities.
“What was agreed last year has been paid. These are subsequent payments that are due. That one has been paid in January/February. This is the second tranche we are paying, N22.72 billion for this tranche. The N30 billion for revitalisation is also in the CBN account,” Dr Ngige said adding that ASUU was yet to inform the Ministry of Labour and Employment of its intention to resume the strike although he admitted that he watched the press conference where Prof Osodeke issued the ultimatum.
“Up till now, I have not gotten any communication from them [ASUU]. But that is not to say that I have not seen them addressing press conference that they have issued an ultimatum.” Ngige said.