The Federal Government will today (Friday) meet with the Chairmen of Governing Councils and Vice-chancellors of Universities as part of efforts to resolve the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The meeting which is at the instance of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, according to sources is to update them on some of the decisions reached with the union and the disbursement of the N30 billion offered ASUU as academic earned allowance.
ASUU has however, accused the Federal Government of not being ready to fund education.
The union particularly, accused the co-coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of being the stumbling block in the process of negotiation.
In a document circulated by the union in Abuja on Thursday, ASUU wondered why the same Okonjo-Iweala who paid the sum of N1.6 trillion to Paris Club of Creditors in 2005, would now say that government has no money to pay lecturers their entitlements.
However, on today’s meeting, the Chairman of implementation committee of the Federal government NEEDs Assessment to Nigerian Universities report, Governor Gabriel Suswam had told newsmen in Abuja the meeting with governing councils and vice-chancellors would enable the government brief them on some of the decisions taken.
The Benue State governor had explained that issues surrounding the NEEDS assessment had been concluded to some extent, while those bordering on the earned allowance component being handled by the SGF were pending.
The Federal Government had on Monday offered N30bn to assist the various Councils of Nigerian Universities pay the earned allowances, which is about N87 billion.
He said: “There is also N100bn and that is why the Minister of Finance, the SGF, the ministers of education and labour as well as the Chief of Staff, the VP and myself have just risen from a meeting to take some decisions that would end the strike soon.
“The President has instructed us on what to do and he has shown a lot of commitments by starting a project worth about N100bn in all the universities in about 61 universities in the country.
“So we are hoping that we will be able to see the end of the strike very soon if at the end of the day, ASUU is satisfied with the measures that we have so far taken.
“The Federal Government will also be meeting with the university councils and vice-chancellors of our universities within the week towards updating them on some of the decisions taken.”
According to Suswam, the meeting with the varsity councils was necessary because earned allowances had to be certified by the management and councils of the universities.
He said since the Federal Government had offered to assist the councils with N30bn,it was important for them to go and verify and pay the people who are actually entitled to the allowances.
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