University lecturers have been on strike for eight weeks.
The Federal Government has provided N30 billion to support university councils in settling the “Earned Allowances” of university workers.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, announced this at a meeting with Pro-Chancellors and Vice Chancellors of Public Universities.
Mr. Anyim said the amount would be disbursed to the various university councils, which were in position to know, who was entitled to what and how much, after verification.
“From the foregoing, it is obvious that the Federal Government has demonstrated sufficient commitment to the implementation of the 2009 FG/ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) Agreement.
“By this, it is clear demonstration of commitment to revitalise the university system, government hereby, urges every staff of the nation’s universities to return to work as all issues are being resolved.
“With particular reference to the contentious issue of “Earned Allowance’’, every staff of the universities that is so entitled should verify his claim with his university council and accord get paid.
“President Goodluck Jonathan is fully committed to bringing the students back to school and appreciates the patience of parents and students.
“Government is making every effort to revitalise the university system,” Mr. Anyim said.
He said that the government acknowledged the contributions of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).
Mr. Anyim also acknowledged other associations, such as National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and other stakeholders.
Earlier, the Minister of Education, Ruqayyatu Rufa’I, said that the government was ready to implement all the recommendations, particularly as it relates to revitalisation of the universities.
Ms. Rufa’I said that on the issue of funding and revitalisation, the Needs Assessment Committee would address infrastructure decay in universities.
“I want to assure you that this will be done in the next few years,” she said.
Also, Kimse Okoro, the Chairman, Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities, commended the government for its efforts.
Mr. Okoro called on chancellors to use the funds judiciously and appealed to ASUU to show some understanding.
Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, the Chairman, Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State Universities, said that the institutions would put more efforts to ensure that regulations were followed.
Also, Mohammed Hamise, Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors, commended government for the N30 billion to university councils to defray the arrears of the peculiar allowances which had remained outstanding.
“The committee regards this as a positive step which, if replicated over the next two years, would solve the problem of the arrears,’’ he said.
ASUU had earlier described the government’s N30 billion offer as insufficient, saying they would not call off their eight-week-old strike unless government implements to the latter the 2009 agreement it had with the union.
The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had estimated that it would cost the government N92 billion to implement the agreement to the latter as it relates to earned allowance.
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