TSA stalling research in Nigerian universities – ASUU

Unijos

The Treasury Single Account, TSA, introduced by the Federal Government to check corruption in the system, is stalling research in the universities, according to the Academic Union of Universities, ASUU.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that exempting the universities from the TSA is among the demands of ASUU, whose members embarked on a one-week warning strike on November 21.

According to its National President, Biodun Ogunyemi, other demands include the payment of Earned Academic Allowances, effective funding of the universities, an end to the payment of fractions of salaries in some institutions, among others.

Mr. Ogunyemi already warned that ASUU would embark on an indefinite strike after the warning strike, if their demands were not met.

Speaking specifically on the TSA, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, Christopher Piwuna, Chairman, Jos chapter of the union, said that the policy was of utmost concern to the universities because it was impeding their core mandate – research and breakthroughs.

“The TSA is a good policy, but its bottlenecks are too much,” Mr. Piwuna told our correspondent on Sunday in Jos.

“International and corporate bodies send research grants to universities, which are paid into the accounts of the institutions, but they get trapped in centralised TSA accounts that are not accessible.

“Such grants come with timelines and the granting institutions get agitated and start asking questions which we can neither answer nor explain. Often, this leads to forfeiture,” he said.

He regretted that the development had led to the loss of many research opportunities and possible breakthroughs, adding that it had also ruptured the confidence between the angry granting institutions and the helpless supposed recipients.

“ASUU has nothing against the TSA, we are only saying that the universities should be exempted from it in view of the speed with which universities’ activities are carried out and also because lots of funds paid into the schools’ accounts come in from foreign sources,” he explained.

Mr. Piwuna admitted, however, that the TSA policy had checked a lot of excesses in the system and should be sustained.

“Some institutions have been found to have up to 25 accounts, some of which are not even known to their Chief Executive Officers.

“Obviously, such accounts were opened by corrupt elements to steal funds; it is a good thing that the TSA has stemmed such recklessness,” he said.

He explained that the warning strike was aimed at forcing government to revitalise the public universities “especially in view of the economic recession that has made it difficult for people to send their children to private universities”.

The ASUU chairman accused government of not giving education the attention it deserved, and vowed that the union would stand its ground until the right thing was done.

He wondered why government would wait until lecturers began a strike before listening to their concerns.

“Since we started the warning strike, we have held several meetings with the Senate President and other top stakeholders; one keeps wondering why it is difficult to listen to ASUU early enough so as to avert the worst scenarios.”

He alleged that 22 universities were paying incomplete salaries to workers, and argued that such would only affect commitment to service.

“The Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, for instance, used to collect only 92 per cent of their salaries, but even that has been slashed to 85 per cent.

“As a union, we have tried to find out why and what we are told is that the budget office has taken six per cent of their recurrent expenditure without any explanation. Certainly, this is a recipe for confusion,” he said.


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  • Mamman

    Ahhem….before the TSA, what “research” ever surfaced from any university ‘RESEARCHER’ in the last ten years? As a corollary to that, what obstacle did they “BREAK THROUGH” ? Free, cheap & easy money is on break. Live with that.

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  • Wilfred Bankole Ademokun

    This demand by ASSU ON TSA is impossible, they cannot steal again in the name of research that is the reason that they want the universities to be exempted. Another DORO DEMAND FROM ASSU, you cannot add another demands to the 2009 agreement, WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER unions in the system SSANU, NAAT AND NASU, STOP AT THE AGREEMENT OF 2009 AND NOTHING MORE. DORO ASSU.

    • Noble

      ASUU not ASSU!!!

      • Wilfred Bankole Ademokun

        ASUU OR ASUU, THANK YOU

  • tundemash

    Before TSA came, what research and breakthroughs were achieved ? ASUU should park well; era of free money and mindless corruption is passed.

  • Amin

    …and i begin to wonder, what reaserch and/or breakthrough was achieved before now? you cannot deceive us you ‘ASUU’. just stay within your 2009/2013 agreements and stop crying foul where there is none. also, only demand what buhari can do please, save our time

  • dami

    ASUU! ASUU!! ASUU!!
    You guys too have turned to thieves over night..??
    Which research do you do?
    Before TSA were you doing any research?
    And when you are always on strike when do you get time to do research anyway..??

    Obviously some money that you were stealing from government is no more cos of TSA – EFCC should investigate the lot of you..barawo lecturers.

  • Ikechukwu_67

    Research???? For wia! !! ASUU should stop that nonsense talk

  • St

    ASUU and research when all the schools spend millions on entrance gate projects….. If there was an Einstein Nigerian Universities, these crooks as educationist would crush the dreams with poor/no research….