The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has rejected the offer made to it by the Federal Government earlier this week. While speaking with newsmen on Saturday morning, the President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, said upon reviewing the offer made by the government, members of the union across various campuses and zones rejected it.
This implies that the hopes of ASUU calling off the strike any time soon may have been dashed.
Mr. Ogunyemi, who described government’s offer on the outstanding revitalization fund of N1.1 trillion as tokenism, said members are insisting that government should release at least a tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019.
He added that on earned allowances, government’s proposal should not be lesser than the total amount released “the last time” out of the verified balance.
“On earned academic allowances, our members said government’s proposed amount out of the verified balance should not be less than the total amount released last time, while evidence of mainstreaming the allowances into the 2019 budget should be shown. Also, timeline should be attached to payment of the balance of the arrears.
“The revitalization fund and earned academic allowances are the two critical areas on which our members feel strongly about. They expect necessary adjustments on the part of government before they can reconsider their decision on the ongoing strike action.”
The unions also asked for the release of the forensic audit report on Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), payments of all outstanding earned academic allowances and the mainstreaming of same into the 2019 budget.
The lecturers also demanded the payment of all arrears of shortfall in salaries to all universities that have met the verification requirements of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA).
Meanwhile, one of the major issues that has been dragging the negotiations forth and back is the revitalisation of the universities.
As at Saturday morning, the government was yet to release the N1.1 trillion of the N1.3 trillion it agreed to provide for the exercise.
It was gathered that the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration released N200 billion in 2013 but since then nothing more has been paid.