By Olusakin Babalola,Ibadan
AS the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) meets the Federal Government tomorrow (Monday), the Union has insisted that government must show concrete evidence of the payment of at least N50billion revitalisation fund for it to consider suspending the strike.
Other conditions attached to the suspension of the strike is the presentation of concrete evidences of the payment of the promised N20billion earned academic allowances and showing how the balance of N85billion will be paid with timelines.
The Union also said it has lost confidence in government making promises which it will not keep to after agreements have been reached.
ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi who stated this on Sunday in Ibadan while speaking to newsmen added that the members of the Union have said only concrete evidences of implementation by the government would make them return to the classrooms.
According to Ogunyemi, while ASUU has rejected Government’s proposal of N20billion (which is to be paid in two tranches) made by the government on the revitalisation of Universities, the union is asking government to mainstream the earned academic allowances into the 2019 budget which is still being worked on by the 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 Nigerian children.
“We want them to pay immediately N50billion as a sign of commitment this quarter and for the next three quarters government can pay N50billion in each quarter. So our members have rejected the 20billion proposed by them that will be spread over two quarters in 2019. Our members have insisted on the release of at least N50billion.
“In relation to earned academic allowances which they have an outstanding N105billion our members are saying that even if you (Government) are releasing N20billion 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 wont be coming to talk about arrears. If government had done put that 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 they (National assembly and executive) are still working on the budget.”
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