NEWS: FG yet to release N100bn to varsities, says ASUU
By PETER DURU & ONYEGBADUE AMAMDI
MAKURDI — Despite claims by the Federal government that the sum of N100billion had been disbursed to 59 public universities to improve infrastructure in the benefitting institutions, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has alleged that none of the universities had received the said sum.
This is just as former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon has appealed to both parties to strike a compromise for the sake of our children and the country.
Chairman of the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi branch of ASUU, Dr. Celestine Aguoru, who spoke yesterday after leading members of the branch on a peaceful march around Makurdi town in protest of the lingering Federal Government/ASUU face-off said: “As we are talking today, government has not released one kobo out of the N100 billion they claimed they have given the universities; this goes to show the level of insincerity of the government.
*Empty Law lecture theater, University of Ibadan
“The truth is that government is paying lip service to the development of education in this country and has therefore resorted to playing politics with the education sector and the future of our children.
“It is rather unfortunate that majority of those who are leading us today went to school in their time on scholarships, but today they do not want our children to benefit from that same gesture, all because of greed.
“Today we are faced with a situation where the amount Nigerians spend yearly to educate their children in Ghana is far more than the yearly budgetary allocation to the education sector.
“Our leaders are not being fair to our country, government should as a matter of priority implement its agreements with ASUU, Nigerians are tired of this deceit; they should remember that if they continue to negate their responsibilities to the people, one day they will certainly give account to God.”
Meanwhile, General Gowon, who spoke in Lagos at the launch the first edition of the Shell Nigeria Scholars Forum, for the beneficiaries of its scholarship argued that one of the parties must be prepared to yield ground in order to save the education sector. He said: “I do believe it is time for all lovers of education to come together and get both the federal government and ASUU to return to the negotiation table and resolve all outstanding grievances. Both sides must be willing to yield ground for the sake of our children and that of our dear country Nigeria.”
In an elaborate ceremony chaired by Gowon, the Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, and Managing Director, SPDC, Mr Mutiu Sunmonu, said the forum “would serve as a meeting place for all beneficiaries of Shell post secondary scholarship schemes.